updated 12:35 am EDT, Wed June 10, 2009
Palm webOS hacked
Although the Palm Pre is fresh on the market, users have already begun dissecting the webOS Root Doctor which includes 195MB of operating system files and code. Used as intended, the recovery tool restores the functionality of a crashed phone and updates the operating system. Forum posts on PreCentral.net indicate several interesting code comments, access passwords for the developer mode, possible designations for upcoming hardware, and icons for AOL and MSN.
The newly-discovered trove of information already has inspired attempts hack webOS, although the efforts appear to be in the beginning stages. Forum poster dsevil discovered that typing "upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart" in the universal search will enable the developer mode. The password dates back to the days of Konami's Contra game, where it was used as a cheat code. Members of the "pre p0wn wiki" have allegedly figured out how to obtain root access from the developer mode.
Forum posts also point to several interesting comments that webOS developers placed in the operating system code, such as "I need a file to work with, give me -f or give me death" and "# what the hell does this do?"
Palm apparently used "zepfloyd" as a designation for an unknown device, although the code also includes references to "pixie" and "castle." Earlier reports suggest one of the latter devices could be a reference to the EOS smartphone, a yet-unannounced handset expected to ship in the fall.
Along with the AOL and MSN icons, forum posters jeffgus and emkan allegedly discovered support for Jabber/XMPP and libpurple in the messaging app. The Jabber/XMPP protocol is used by clients such as Google Talk, while libpurple could point to support for Pidgin, Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo chat.
Despite the code findings, Palm's specific plans for future webOS updates remain unknown. The company is expected to bring the operating system to upcoming devices.