Nook Tablet hardware protection hacked with the Bus Pirate

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 in hacks by DP

The Nook Tablet hardware protection was hacked with some help from the Bus Pirate. The Bus Pirate was used as a simple USB to UART bridge so nook hackers can talk directly to onboard ICs and bypass the standard bootloader.

The device was released  allowing ADB to be accessed.  Barnes and Nobel quickly patched this hole. o XDA Recognized Developer AdamOutler released a reversion package imediately, and XDA Senior Member Dean Gibson worked on restoring this ability in 1.4.1. AdamOutler then released a Nook Tablet HackPack, discovered a method to boot the Nook Tablet securely from SDCard and showed us how to set up UART with the assistance of XDA Senior Member Pokey9000.

Finally, pulling together all the techniques learned, member hkvc was able to totally bypass the device’s security at the bootloader.  He calls it NOP Based Security Bypass.  hkvc’s technique loads a custom kernel into memory, modifies security registers, then executes a custom kernel.   This requires a hardware modification and may lead to the first mobile device with a modchip.   However, using the power of booting from SDCard this will be an unpatchable security exploit and allow custom ROMs like CyanogenMod and Ice Cream Sandwich to run on the Nook Tablet eventually.

Via the forum.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 3:00 pm and is filed under hacks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Responses to “Nook Tablet hardware protection hacked with the Bus Pirate”

  1. mlass says:

    Love CM7 on Nook Color, can’t wait to have a Nook Tablet with CM9.

  2. Steve says:

    I’ve been holding off on getting a tablet, but this may be the tipping point. A $250 tablet with the ability to run Android market and others…

  3. DefaultFailedEngineer says:

    I agree, I too love CM7 on my Nook Color (bought for $180 on sale,w/ $20 gift card rebate). I prefer this over the use of android on a cellular phone greatly. When you MITM a network with your eBook reader, you feel like you’ve definitely been blessed with an amazing hardware modification. My sincerest appreciation to all those who have worked to make this possible.

  4. Drone says:

    This is nice if you already have a Nook. But if you’re thinking of buying new, I’d steer clear of the Nook – the hardware probably isn’t up to the likes of an eventual full Android 4.0 install. Note that Acer and ASUS have Tegra-3 quad-processor equipped tablets ready with Android 4.0 Icecream Sandwich to drop any day now (if not already) for around $250 bucks apop. I think the Acer tablet is the Iconia Tab 510 and the Asus thing is the ME370T. I read somewhere upgrading the Acer from 16 to 32GB internal costs something like $20. Try that on your Apple iPad!

  5. Torwag says:

    Ohhh nooo Ian what did you do… what kind of monster did you create.
    What’s next building atom bombs with the bus-pirate?!!

    And its all your fault …. all your fault….

  6. illunatic says:

    Well ain’t this just dandy?

    I just got the tablet for $174 + tax. $25 off if you have a B&N (free) membership card. That’s a good value, right?

  7. illunatic says:

    Oh wait I only got the 8GB, but it would bring the 16Gb down to $225 or so.

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Recent Comments

  • KH: Well, I'm sure the HDD can handle a little vibration *cough*. What I am more interested in is this: the fan appears to be placed...
  • Alan: The Si5351 runs on 3.3V, and several FPGA dev boards now include "Arduino compatible" headers [if you stick to 3.3V logic levels]. Maybe it's time...
  • hli: Sunday++
  • JB: Hi
  • Peter: Sunday