How does Towelroot work to root Android devices?

Number6

I’ve rooted a number of Android phones and tablets over the years. It has always been a multistep process - install software on laptop from manufacturer, unlock bootloader, install more software to root, connect device being USB cable, etc. Now I’m hearing about Towelroot (towelroot.com) which is supposed to work with almost no effort by the user, you simply download the apk, install and open it, and click a button. Easy peasy. All of my devices are already rooted, and I don’t want to go through the process to unroot just so I can try this out. Has anyone actually used Towelroot successfully, and how does it work without all of the steps they have been necessary up to now?

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LolaBelle
Vote Up (3)

I have used it, and it did work. I went from unrooted to rooted in about 1 minute, and that includes going to the site, sideloading the apk, and clicking the root button. Amazing. Especially in light of the fact that my device, an LG LS-740, is new on the market and “traditional” rooting methods had not been working for people a week or two ago when I was reading about the issue on some dev forums. It was the easiest rooting experience I’ve ever had, by far. 

 

Here is the bad news though - Towelroot makes use of a Linux kernel flaw (Android is Linux based) that was just discovered in early June. While Towelroot does exactly what creator George Hotz says it will and simply exploits the flaw to achieve root, it is possible that others with less pure motives could use it as a security exploit. As far as I know, this has not happened. Just make sure your settings allow installation from trusted sources only and after you root be sure to install SuperUser to grant/deny permissions to software seeking root access. 

 

The flaw is present in Android 4.4 and earlier, so you should be able to use Towelroot on most devices, although Hotz says that some Motorola and HTC devices block the exploit.

jimlynch
Vote Up (2)

Make it rain on tons of smartphones with Geohot’s new root tool
http://phandroid.com/2014/06/16/towelroot-root-exploit/

"George Hotz — the mastermind developer who made Sony so mad with his PS3 hacking antics that they pursued legal action — has returned to the scene with another huge development.

This is Towelroot, a root tool that targets a vulnerability found in older versions of the Linux kernel. The vulnerability is said to be in every kernel before the June 3rd patch, so many older phones (and even a ton of newer phones) that have yet to get the latest kernel update might be in for a treat."

newbyclive
Vote Up (1)

Yes I recently rooted my LG Motion add all i did was download a apk file call root from dropbox install the app then tap one button and my phone restarted and it was completely rooted after that so there is easier ways but you just have to look hard enough.

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