Hackers jailbreak PlayBook

Three hackers say they’ve been able to crack Research In Motion’s much-vaunted security to run unauthorized applications on the PlayBook tablet.

“We’ve done it. We’ve broken RIM’s fancy security,” says Neuralic on a YouTube video. “we’ve got the device fully rooted – this persists even after the device reboots.”

The jailbreak is demonstrated on version 1.0.8 of the PlayBook OS, but the hackers say it works just as well on the 2.0 beta. Neuralic demonstrates how he’s able to turn the backlight on and off, along with the LEDs – including a blue one that’s not normally seen.

The three say they’ve also been able to use the tablet to access video steaming site Hulu, which isn’t offically available for the PlayBook.

The team’s called its tool DingleBerry.

“So we’re planning on releasing this pretty soon, just as soon as we finish cleaning up a couple of things that are still looming and finish up a tool to make it easier for you guys,” says Neuralic.

“I’m hoping that at some point we can maybe even get a full version of Android running on the PlayBook, although that’s going to be a lot of work.”

RIM says that it’s investigating; if the jailbreak is genuine, says the company, it’ll release a software update aimed at addressing it.

Security is a big selling point for RIM – indeed, in July, the PlayBook became the first tablet to be approved for use by the federal government by the the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The device hasn’t been selling well, and losing one of its main claims to fame won’t help.