When the first PlayBook jailbreaking tool was released last year, RIM moved quickly to patch it, saying it would "investigate" any tools that claimed to enable root access to the tablet. Now, it's gone a step further, telling users in a blog post that jailbreaking a PlayBook will void its warranty. This isn't all that unusual, but the company has also outlined a plan that suggests it's going to be aggressively patching any exploits that would allow root access. "On hearing reports of a jailbreak for a BlackBerry product," the RIM security team "will quickly triage the underlying issue and method used to perform the jailbreak." The team will then release patches in the next software update to block the tool. This is true for even relatively innocuous jailbreaks that require "extensive user interaction" (and therefore couldn't be used to surreptitiously install malware.)
Although RIM doesn't mention the PlayBook specifically, it's the only rootable BlackBerry device, so it's strange that RIM is pushing away a new set of users for a fairly unpopular tablet. Low-profile Android producers like Sony, for example, have made their code more hacker-friendly to gain market traction. The company cited potential security problems, but a rooted tablet with a strong password isn't necessarily less secure than a stock one, though the user does assume more risks. It's possible that RIM is trying to protect its government contracts by projecting a super-secure image, but we doubt it's doing the PlayBook any favors. Meanwhile, the DingleBerry jailbreaking tool is still going strong.