Despite the fact that Motorola has shipped a couple of its recent Android smartphones with unlockable bootloaders and offered "Developer Edition" versions of a few other models, the big M isn't typically considered to be one of the most tinkerer-friendly manufacturers. Big progress was made in the Motorola device hacking community over the weekend, though, as security researcher Dan Rosenberg has discovered a way to unlock the bootloaders of several consumer versions of Motorola's Android phones that are powered by Snapdragon processors. That includes the DROID RAZR HD, DROID RAZR MAXX HD, DROID RAZR M and Atrix HD.
Today Rosenberg took to the Azimuth Security blog to detail the method he used to unlock the bootloaders of those devices, which includes taking advantage of a vulnerability inside Motorola's TrustZone kernel. Additionally, Rosenberg has released a tool that anyone can use to unlock the bootloader of their device, provided that they own one of the four aforementioned handsets. The device must also be rooted in order for the tool to work. After meeting the criteria and following the instructions of the tool, users will be left with a phone that features an unlocked bootloader, meaning that it'll be ready for ROM-ing and tinkering.
As is usually the case whenever the word "bootloader" comes up, I have to caution that this unlocking tool should only be used by folks that can follow instructions and are comfortable with rooting and hacking Android hardware. We here at PhoneDog aren't responsible if you try to unlock your device and end up with a Motorola-branded paperweight. For the folks that like to do this sort of thing, the arrival of this bootloader unlocking tool is pretty exciting news because it opens up options for tinkering that owners of these handsets probably weren't expecting to get. Now we wait and see if Motorola and the carriers decide to patch the exploit with a future update.