Verizon recently rolled out a software update to Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone that brought in new features as well as security fixes. However, the update also included patches to security exploits that previously allowed the phone to be rooted. Owners intent on rooting their devices can breathe a bit easier now that a new rooting method has been developed over at XDA.
Verizon's software update was quite unusual in itself. Instead of the over the air update method familiar to users of Android devices, the carrier opted to use a desktop installer for the PC and Mac called Software Upgrade Assistant. The software downloaded the large 350 MB update which it then installed to the device connected via a USB cable.
Samsung's update brings in a good number of new features, one of which is the ability to move apps to the SD card, freeing up space from the internal storage. It also brought in support for Samsung's KNOX security suite, which may have be instrumental in getting the Galaxy S4 approved for use by the US government. Unfortunately, Samsung has also introduced a new bootloader that breaks root access and prevents future rooting attempts. Naturally, users were up in arms and went even as far as setting up a bounty at XDA for finding new exploits that will allow the phone to be rooted again.
XDA members DooMLoRD and PWM978 along with a few others have recently found a way to root device from an SD card and have provided a guide over at the XDA forums. The new method doesn't require wiping the phone or flashing a pre-rooted image. So far, the bounty, which has exceeded $3,000 in just 8 days, has not yet been claimed as the bootloader is still locked. This is only root access folks, but we'll take what we can get.