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November 30, 2011

Hackers claim RIM PlayBook crack

Trio claim successful 'jail break' of beleaguered tablet

By Jason Stamper

A hacker trio have claimed that they have successfully cracked the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

The group said it was successful in ‘jail breaking’ Research in Motion’s PlayBook tablet. Jail breaking is an increasingly common practice in which hackers gain access to the inner workings of phones, tablets and other devices, usually in order to install operating systems or applications not officially sanctioned by the device maker.

Research In Motion (RIM) – the Canadian firm behind the BlackBerry – said it is investigating the claim and will release a patch to plug the hole if a ‘jailbreak’ had indeed taken place.

The three, who have identified themselves as Xpvqs, Neuralic and Chris Wade, said they would release their data within a week in the form of a tool called DingleBerry.

In a YouTube video, Wade showed the DingleBerry tool apparently allowing the PlayBook to access the Internet video service Hulu, which is not usually available on RIM’s tablet.

RIM said in a statement that it was committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and will continue to work with its staff and researchers to protect its customers.

There are rumours flying around that RIM could even discontinue the PlayBook. Not as a result of the latest alleged hack, but simply because it is not selling enough of them. Still lacking a few killer features such as a native email client (unless you synch it with your BlackBerry smartphone) it’s rumoured that PlayBook sales have been disappointing.

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However CBR exclusively reported this morning that a next-generation PlayBook is in the works.

On Monday RIM discounted the PlayBook by $300 to sell them for $200, prompting them to sell out at Best Buy in the US. But whether RIM can sustain such a low price point is open to debate.

Related: Exclusive: BlackBerry PlayBook 2 tablet still in the works?

Related: Can BlackBerry Mobile Fusion bring RIM back into the game?

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