Samsung won't surrender to modders with latest update

Samsung won't surrender to modders with latest update

Samsung, as you know, has never made life easy for hackers and modders. With the latest update coming up for its flagship devices, however, it seems they’ve gone a bit too far. KNOX is able to check if your smartphone has ever been unlocked, and then the bootloader is able to prevent changes to the firmware.

With the Galaxy Note 8, the Korean phablet manufacturer seems to not want to surrender in its war on meddling. The update containing the January patches for the company’s three flagships (the S8 and S8+ are the other two models receiving the update) will introduce a new bootloader in addition to bringing patches for Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

The first consequence is that you will not be able to return to a previous software version once you have installed the update. The second is that, with this new bootloader, Samsung is able to block the use of one of the most used modder programs and the modified version of Prince Comsy by Odin.

AndroidPIT odin samsung firmware flash
Odin has always helped users install Samsung updates. / © NextPit

Odin is a program that allows you to install the original Samsung firmware on your home devices and has been exploited for modding several times during the history of Galaxy smartphones. It has been used to earn root permissions on a device and in other cases to install official updates that Samsung was struggling to deploy.

Due to the Korean company’s delays and selectivity in releasing updates (they only issue certain updates in certain regions), the Prince Comsy modder decided to modify the official Samsung Odin software to enable the installation of software not created or approved by Samsung, but intended for devices from other regions (but with the same SoC of course).

AndroidPIT android O Oreo 2065
Do you want Oreo on your Samsung flagship? You'll have to wait for the official firmware for your region. / © NextPit

Updating the bootloader will block this convenient option. To demonstrate an example, this means that if you have a Canadian device and you want to install American firmware, this will no longer be possible because the model numbers of the devices are different in different countries, despite the fact that the devices are identical. Not only that, if you have a device released by a mobile provider, you will no longer be able to install firmware from an unlocked device (here unlocked means not sold with a mobile carrier).

This will make life difficult not only for hackers but also for those who want to avoid waiting for an update via OTA by manually installing the latest firmware available in a nearby region.

Instead of wasting time blocking useful functions for users, Samsung should speed up the update procedure so that users don't have to use these tricks.

So what do you think of this latest development? Would you like to see Samsung release updates more quickly? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Elliander Eldridge Oct 23, 2018 Link to comment

    I actually don't care about updates. Rather, I want to control my carrier and not have to mess with boot animations from a carrier and otherwise control what my phone is actually doing. Such as killing the mandatory emergency alerts that used to wake me up because it ignores priority mode, or get rid of bloatware, or block forced updates. For this reason, I never purchase phones from the carrier - I buy out of pocket full price for phones without branding.

    I recently purchased a rooted S7, but it sucks that I have to be careful what I do or trigger the locked bootloader. This will probably be my last Samsung phone, the way things are going. I just want a phone that lets me - the owner - have full control over it, that won't be locked up by a company halfway around the world which is to me the equivalent of ransomware just because they presume to claim ownership of what they already sold me.

    Unless, of course, someone figures out how to overcome the locked bootloader situation entirely. I would have purchased an S9 if only they would actually sell me one that isn't locked down.

    I'd have bought a Pixel 3, but even though google didn't lock the bootloaders they don't have a microSD card slot and both the camera and screen resolution is weak.

    I was using Sony devices for the last 2 generations, but it's oddly difficult to buy OEM parts for repairs that actually fit together for some reason, and they feel way buggier than the Samsung phones to use.

    It's like there are no good options anymore.

  • Richard Fernandez Feb 3, 2018 Link to comment

    I think I'm leaving Samsung behind. too much bloatware. slo w on updates, I mean wtf, I bought the S8 two weeks after it was released, and I still am on nougat 7.0 , this is unacceptable, this is a flagship? Batter life is horrible, and my S7 the battery life is even worse. The percentage just drops so fast. And I can't even change the battery out. So that phone is useless to take with me while I'm out. I'm really disappointed in Samsung's minimal upgrades, and slow updates and lousy battery life. there are phones with large battery that last 2 days of moderate to heavy use. if Samsung would stop making their expansive phones so thin, they could get a two day battery in them. And get rid of the bloatware and useless features like Bixby, I never use that shitty assistant mess. wast of resources. Google now is already built in why both? 3 fucking browsing apps , come on wtf man. GARBAGE!!! NO MORE SAMSUNG!!!!

  • Lee Hoang Feb 3, 2018 Link to comment

    Make it a choice, Android is all about freedom and choices. I suppose that lockdown as Apple is good for novice users that just want a working device, advance users can do whatever they want as long they are acknowledge with somekind of terms and agreements.
    Using the advance feature will void warranty and trigger Knox hardware failure will not be cover by warranty etc.

  • Dwarfer66 Feb 3, 2018 Link to comment

    If you go here there is more info:
    h t t p s://

  • Rusty H. Feb 2, 2018 Link to comment

    Samsung is more like Apple every day. High prices, phones look similar, locked down, can't change them how you want. The galaxy note 1, was the only sammy I had, and LAST.

  • Jerry's W. Feb 2, 2018 Link to comment

    It is a fight Samsung will never win....

  • Kent Shephard Feb 2, 2018 Link to comment

    This is why I'll never buy a Samsung phone again.
    I own the phone!

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