Rooting Android

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#1
Anybody know anything about rooting (ie gaining access to the secured OS of) Android tablets?

I have a cheap tablet bought from Aldi/Lidl a while back, with the intention of it being dedicated as a communal music storage and player device, and making it secure - ie not easy to take liberties with the MP3s (steal them).

The internal storage can be converted to an EFS (encrypted file system), but is not sufficient to hold the library, and even if it were there would remain a risk in that the external SD slot means files could be copied off. Ideally the library should be held on an external encrypted SD card (EFS), and any free internal storage made unavailable.

The tablet is fitted with Android KitKat 4.4, and there appears to be no update available. Info about KitKat on the web indicates an "encrypt external storage" menu option as well as "encrypt internal storage", and the latter is available on this tablet but apparently not the former. Files encrypted individually by a third-party app (and therefore requiring individual unlocking before use) doesn't suit my use-case.

So I am contemplating rooting this tablet to be able to do what I like with it - in particular enable/install EFS for the SD slot - but so far not worked out how to do that.

In case it matters: the "about" identifies the tablet as Allwinner BS1078, Android 4.4.2, firmware v4.5, kernel 3.3.0
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
#2
I did root an Android years ago but can't help with the detail. More recently I installed a custom ROM on a phone which is more complex but there is plenty on the web to help. I assume you have done some preliminary googling at least.

Although rooting is good for opening the 'box' up it is generally less secure because of that. You might actually find a custom ROM that will be better for your needs, but for a cheap, presumably not well known, device like that there might not be anything suitable. (You could try a ROM for a similar device but I guess you could end up with a brick.)
 

MontysEvilTwin

Well-Known Member
#3
On Android 7 or later you can set the SD card storage type as internal and encrypt all of it (the OS treats the internal and external storage as one unit). To get later OS will depend on the bootloader being unlockable and someone having created a custom rom. These things are all very model and OS version specific. The best place to search is XDA forums.
 

dandnsmith

Forum Supporter
#5
Kingo Root seems to be the most versatile tool - it didn't get me to a rooted android, but the site has lots of advice relating to devices and versions of android (mine was summed up as 'you might be able to root it')
 
OP
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#6
Bricking it is not an option, so I guess I shouldn't be toying with rooting unless there is a pretty good chance of a. success, and b. rooting having the desired effect.

A third party file locker app has been suggested, but my impression is that this would just result in a bunch of locked files each of which would require individual unlocking before they could be used - not what I'm after.
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
#7
I am a little puzzled as what it is you are trying to protect against.
Is this tablet connected to a sound system in a communal space. If so to steal files from it would require access to the device, which means that the device itself could be stolen. Or is it fixed down physically?
Or is it loaned out to individuals?
How many people will want to steal these files? And have the means (right connectors, etc) to do so? Does it really matter if they do? (Without getting in to a discussion about ip.)
 
OP
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#8
The tablet belongs to a ballroom dance club, and I was commissioned to rip their CD library to MP3, with the intention of making it relatively accessible to use. They have a tendency not to take copyright and their responsibilities under the PRS/PPL seriously; also there is a lot of effort gone into the classification of the tracks (as MP3 tags). If any buffoon can clone the SD then all that IP becomes (effectively) PD. This is immediately solved by putting an EFS on the SD.
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
#9
OK, understood.
Presumably then the device is generally in use or in the care of a club member. Given that copying of a large number of mp3s from such a device, or removal and cloning of the SD card, would require both obvious connection or interference and quite a lot of time, is the risk of such all that great?
Who has actually done the classification work? Is it them that is asking for the protection?

Not to say I disagree with the ideas you have, but there may be a point at which it's simply not worth the trouble, especially if at the end of it all they have to cancel a session because the tablet decides they aren't allowed music.
A bit like HDMI actually :)
 
OP
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#10
There are politics involved and it's *my* effort that's gone into it!

It wouldn't strike me as very difficult to copy unprotected content: borrow the SD card (nobody would notice it was missing), copy at leisure. I did think of gluing it in, but that would cripple updating (not that I particularly care). If I have to hand it over unprotected, I will strip out my IP if nothing else.

However, regardless of the above, I do not approve of somebody buying a CD and then sharing rips with all and sundry at the expense of the publishers and artists.
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
#11
I do not approve of somebody buying a CD and then sharing rips with all and sundry at the expense of the publishers and artists.
No, I quite agree. But there is a difference between deliberately sharing stuff with all your acquaintances and the slight (?) chance someone might copy stuff off. (Are these people likely to do that? I know it can be a 'competitive' pastime.)
 
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