Motorola's eFuse Security System Bricks Hacked Android Phones

Jul 15, 2010

If you rushed out to buy the Droid X today, you may want to hold off on trying to root it.

July 15 marks the release of Motorola's Droid X smartphone on Verizon, a device plenty of reviews have recommended for its large screen and impressive performance and decried for its battery life and lack of a front-facing camera. But for you fandroids out there itching to get your hands on the newest offering, buyer beware: it comes with anti-tampering security.

If you try to hack, root, jailbreak or modify any of the internal components, Motorla's eFuse security technology will corrupt the boot process, effectively bricking your phone. That's right, if you try to modify the Android operating system, you will be the owner of a fancy US$ 200 paperweight. According to a poster at mydroidworld.com, here's how:

"If the eFuse failes to verify this information then the eFuse receives a command to “blow the fuse” or “trip the fuse”. This results in the booting process becoming corrupted and resulting in a permanent bricking of the Phone. This FailSafe is activated anytime the bootloader is tampered with or any of the above three parts of the phone has been tampered with."

The security measure essentially flies in the face of the open platform the phone was built upon. It leaves the user at the mercy of the OEM, in terms of software updates and guts many of the customization options hardcore Android users have grown accustomed to.

For regular consumers, eFuse shouldn't be an issue, barring some catastrophic malfunction. But power users may want to look elsewhere.

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Comments

  • sick of this assumptions

    as far as I know.. the same chip has been on previous droid as well...
    i found the story about the BRICK CHIP on some APPLE FANPAGE
    first... now everyone goin nutz !.... lets have the facts please //
  • droid is dead.

    i was going to buy it. now i wont. and i think everyone should do the same. i like motorola but this is the end of it. no more motorola for me.
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