Oculus Quest 2 Jailbreak Referred to as Into Query – Highway to VR
Previous confirmation from the nonprofit data protection and security organization XRSI regarding a successful Quest 2 jailbreak – a means to free the device from the requirements of the Facebook account and other software-based restrictions – has been challenged by a recent discrediting from an anonymous source the method as “fake”. XRSI responded to the claim, stating that they are still in the review process.
Following an announcement by Mozilla WebXR software developer Robert Long, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and other community members, XRSI reported in late October that a researcher from the XR community had been given root access to Oculus Quest 2 and was able to log in to Facebook Bypass Completely – a controversial new requirement that comes with Quest 2.
The coat was taken over by XRSI to protect the anonymity of those involved and to verify the jailbreak, which is supposedly being carried out by independent researchers. However, now XRSI is controversial and requires an answer to a prominent claim regarding the veracity of the jailbreak. According to XRSI, although the results “were not as simple and regular as they need to be”, the jailbreak method is still very real.
The source of the controversy is an anonymous Reddit user who has received quite a bit of attention this week, claiming inside knowledge of the jailbreaking and falsification due to some clear impossibilities.
In the post, which has since been deleted but is still accessible through a cached webpage, the apparent insider claims that the jailbreak in question is not real due to its reported ability to install Linux and Windows XP, the latter of which cannot be installed on Quest 2’s ARM-based CPU that natively runs a custom variant of Android.
The anonymous source concludes that it must be a virtual machine (VM) to emulate Windows XP and not a proper boot unlock as such. Here is an excerpt from the now deleted post:
As the title suggests, the “confirmed” jailbreak on the Oculus Quest 2 is fake and does not offer root access to the device. A third party was hired by the XRSI to replicate the jailbreak, including investigating the possibility of other methods of jailbreaking the device, but they told me after two days in a row they couldn’t verify that it was jailbroken at all. When the XRSI was informed it chose to ignore this and continues to claim that the jailbreak is real. They plan to post a statement stating that Facebook made a change to undo the jailbreak. This is not true.
The source went on to “encourage all IT professionals to press the XRSI for evidence to support their claims related to the Oculus Quest 2 jailbreak.”
It has been suggested that XRSI’s first announcement of a successful Quest 2 jailbreak may have hampered other efforts – especially those interested in the reward – by claiming the finish line has already been crossed.
Marco Magnano, Executive Director of Communications at XRSI, gave Road to VR a response to the anonymous source’s claims. Here is the full text:
There’s not much we can say about this Reddit post as the premise (the definition of “fake”) on our part is pretty inaccurate and offensive. What we primarily provided was protection for the researchers who proposed the jailbreak and those who validated it. So we didn’t make it up.
Our verification process, delegated to trusted independent researchers, consisted of a remote demonstration of the actions taken on the device to unlock and install various operating systems to access the hardware. At this point, after validating what was seen, we started the second part of the process and asked the independent researchers to reproduce the full set of actions. Unfortunately, the results are not as simple and regular as they need to be. Let me reiterate what we said in the original announcements: “We are currently working on collecting assurances to protect those who discovered these jailbreaking methods.”
For legal and ethical reasons, we’re going to allow individual rights to remain private, but the point we made remains: we need to protect the researchers and hackers who are jailbroken – it’s a bloody shame that the People are trying to force XRSI to unethically disclose this matter without a proper legal process. We stand firm in protecting the researchers involved and would appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete the process.
Magnano further denies claims that Windows XP was even seriously viewed as a potential operating system, saying that it was “a joke a researcher heard from the jailbreakers when asked,” Hey, what could be the funniest around to try to install it on the device? ‘”
Robert Long, who opened the bounty prize with $ 5,000 of his own money, also has doubts about the jailbreak. He expressed concern about its accuracy, saying there were “red flags in the review process” indicating either a mistake by the independent security researcher or a malicious or confused prison breaker that resulted in public allegations that he was under investigation, before he was done.
“XRSI definitely shouldn’t have made a public statement that it was under review at this point,” Long says.
Even so, Long is very much in the camp of XRSI and says he supports the organization’s approach even though, in his opinion, he prematurely announced the success of the jailbreak.
I’m still at XRSI. Idk why someone would come after them like this. If you know the information will eventually be released, why should you speed up the process and put people and the XR movement at risk? Https://t.co/sDV0IIvb72
– Robert Long (roarobertlong), November 12, 2020
Payout still pending
While we are not getting any closer to the full story, it is possible to read something between the lines given what we already know.
The anonymous source has inside knowledge, as evidenced by the claim (although it may be puzzling) that Windows XP was mentioned between researchers and jailbreakers. It remains to be seen whether it is a malicious attempt to discredit the project and its organizers, the act of a dissatisfied party, or a real look inside. Long claims the problem is a feud between the insider and XRSI as to how best to resolve the problem.
Knowing whether that particular jailbreak is actually authentic will likely come about when XRSI either publishes the jailbreak or somehow backs up its claims with further evidence. At first glance, this approach doesn’t seem to contradict its mission to protect the researchers and jailbreakers involved. However, disclosure of information could put someone at risk, which XRSI does not want if it intends to promote that particular jailbreak or other method it attracts in the meantime.