Kill switch triggered if modders tamper with new Android smartphone

— 1:48 PM on July 15, 2010

Smartphones have increasingly become targets of hax0rs looking to modify user interfaces, unlock suppressed features, and remove carrier and other restrictions. Doing so usually violates the terms of service attached to the devices, and bricked phones can often result if online tutorials aren't followed to the letter. Now, according to a report on TechCrunch, Motorola's latest Android offering has a built-in kill switch designed to thwart would-be modders.

Dubbed eFuse, this kill switch will trip an internal fuse in the new Droid X if anything messes with the device's firmware, kernel, or bootloader. Phones that are bricked as a result of the eFuse can reportedly be resurrected, but only with a hardware fix available through Motorola.

Enterprising hackers will probably find a way around the eFuse in time. Still, it's interesting to note that Motorola is being even more aggressive than Apple on this front. Plenty of folks have inadvertently bricked their iPhones while applying various "Jailbreak" methods, but as far as we know, the device lacks an iFuse or equivalent functionality.

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