DOOM On A Desk Telephone Is Simply The Tip Of The Iceberg


Lately we anticipate even the most cost effective of burner smartphones to characteristic a multi-core processor, not less than a gigabyte of RAM, and a Linux-based working system. However clearly these kind of specs are pointless for an old-fashioned POTS desktop cellphone. Properly, that’s what we thought. Then [Josh Max] wrote in to inform us about his adventures in hacking the CaptionCall, and now we’re desperate to see what the group can do with root entry on a surprisingly highly effective Linux cellphone.

Because the names implies, the CaptionCall is a desk cellphone with an LCD above the keypad that reveals real-time captions. Anybody in america with listening to loss can get considered one of these telephones totally free from the federal government, so naturally they promote for peanuts on the second hand market. Properly, not less than they did. Then [Josh] needed to go forward and crack the foundation password for the ARMv7 i.MX6 powered cellphone, began poking round inside its 4 GB of onboard NAND, and acquired the factor working DOOM.

Tapping into the serial port.

In the event you’re within the technical particulars, [Josh] has achieved an important job taking us step-by-step via his course of. It’s a narrative that can be not less than considerably acquainted to anybody who’s performed round with embedded Linux gadgets, and unsurprisingly, begins with finding a serial port header on the PCB.

Discovering the surroundings variables to fairly tightly locked down, he took the slow-route and dumped the cellphone’s firmware 80 characters at a time with U-Boot’s “reminiscence show” command. Passing the recovered firmware picture via binwalk and a password cracker acquired him the foundation credentials briefly order, and from there, that serial port acquired a complete lot extra helpful.

[Josh] kicked the cellphone’s unique UI to the curb, arrange an ARM Debian Jessie chroot, and began working his manner in direction of a completely practical Linux surroundings. With audio, video, and even keypad assist secured, he was able to boot up everybody’s favourite 1993 shooter. He’s been variety sufficient to share his work in a GitHub repository, and whereas it won’t be a turn-key expertise, all of the items are right here to totally bend the {hardware} to your will.

Traditionally, working DOOM on a brand new piece of {hardware} has been the harbinger of larger and higher issues to come back. With unfettered entry to its Linux working system up for grabs, we predict the CaptionCall goes to turn out to be a well-liked hacking goal going ahead, and we will’t wait to see it.


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