“Customers who use a jailbreaking tool on BlackBerry products void the manufacturer warranty and also increase the long-term risk of negatively impacting the stability and user experience of their BlackBerry products. Use of a jailbreaking tool could also amplify the impact and severity of a future security issue, making your personal data more vulnerable to theft and more difficult to protect.”
This is what RIM’s Director of the BlackBerry Security Incident Response Team, Adrian Stone, has to say about jailbreaking your BlackBerry Playbook. He also acknowledges the benefits of the practice, but warns against users who don’t know entirely what they’re doing in venturing into such murky waters.
He makes distinctions between software-level vulnerabilities that can be exploited by outside users through the network, and a less insidious method that requires a user to run a custom piece of software, and maintain possession of the tablet, to execute the jailbreak. Nevertheless, both methods will be patched in future updates, he promises, but the first is a more urgent matter that could result in an emergency patch being released. Such was the case a couple times last year when vulnerabilities were discovered in Adobe Flash, which required both companies to jump to action.
Despite the attractive prospect of being able to sideload unauthorized apps and perform “root” functions on a jailbroken PlayBook, Stone has these words of advice that could apply to most consumer devices: “The best actions you can take to protect your BlackBerry products are also pretty simple to follow: 1) keep your BlackBerry software up to date; 2) don’t install jailbreaking tools; and 3) don’t install software from unauthorized or unverified sources.”
For most users, that is advice to stick by.