The app TriangleAway, a staple of any rooted Galaxy SII user’s arsenal, has been updated for both the Galaxy SIII and the international Galaxy Note. Apparently Samsung integrated some new protections for the flash counter. While the Galaxy SIII is completely open, warranty isn’t as safe, so tread with caution and no one is responsible for any possible damage. Here is an interesting note from the developer, Chainfire:
“With the Galaxy S II, Samsung introduced a custom kernel flash counter and custom kernel warning triangle. This is where Triangle Away came in – it reset the flash counter and removed the warning triangle.
On the Galaxy Note, Samsung tried hiding the data once more, so Triangle Away would not work.
On the Galaxy S III (among other new devices), Samsung has gone a step further, and has introduced a background service that runs on your device and checks for things such as a modified /system, apps running with root access, etc.”
“I am not sure what the reason is Samsung wants to track all this. My reason for wanting to “break” their tracking is one thing: warranty.
Being able to run the software I want on devices I own without losing hardware warranty should be a right by law. As for as I can see, there’s only two ways you can really break your device with root access:
(1) overclocking to the point where hardware is damaged
(2) flashing nonsense to your bootloader partitions
I’m not sure how to handle (1). I personally never overclock – and I don’t think it’s strange to deny overclockers warranty. Surely this must be preventable in the hardware. Case number (2) however is wholly Samsung’s fault. Adam Outler has shown time and again that these devices are perfectly able to be made unbrickable – so any bootloader brick is IMHO Samsung’s fault. If Adam Outler can prevent the situation with a soldering iron, the original design is broken.
Regardless, hardware should be under warranty – if I have my device rooted or not. Leaked service center documents show that devices should be checked for root, and if present, deny warranty. (This is not just Samsung, all the major OEMs do this.)
That is simply unacceptable. Any OEM following that policy is a bad OEM – in some countries this may even be an unlawful practise (though good luck winning in court). HTC has once refused to replace a defective digitizer on my HTC Diamond (a common hardware issue with this device) due to HSPL being present. They claimed HSPL had irreversibly damaged the mainboard, and the entire innards of the device would have to be replaced. Riiiiight.
Root by itself is not a crime, nor a pointer that a device is broken in any way that should not fall under warranty. But in the eyes of the OEMs it seems we are criminals.
If the purpose of the tracking is related to corporate security and such, I can see why Samsung would want to lock down further. I can certainly understand that, though I don’t necessarily agree.
And thus we come full circle – if Samsung goes another step further in protecting their custom flash data, will I even attempt to bypass it ? Should I ? A big part of me thinks not.”
While I’m very glad the Galaxy SIII is open to hacking, this is scary news. My Galaxy SII broke while rooted. My wifi started freaking out and my battery life dropped to a few hours, even running bone stock unrooted with no apps installed. That is not damage from rooting my phone, and I unrooted it and got it replaced. Thinking I can’t do the same thing with the SIII is scary, and the exact reason I wouldn’t buy an HTC (to unlock bootloader, they void the warranty on your phone using a device-specific token).
To finish this off, here is a great quote: “For those who tinker with their cars, this is akin to voiding a Powertrain Warranty because you added an aftermarket radio.”