The Linux4nano project has been working to port the Linux kernel onto the iPod Nano along with other iPods in general. Although the iPodLinux project has had luck with some older iPods, newer models protect firmware updates with encryption. One of the ways they plan on running code on the device is through a vulnerability in the notes program; it causes the processor to jump to a specific instruction and execute arbitrary code. To take advantage of this, they first need to figure out where their injected code ends up in the memory. Currently, they are testing every memory location by painstakingly loading in a bogus note and recording its effect. Each note takes about a minute to test and they have tens of thousands of addresses to check over several devices.
Although they’ve cracked the 2G Nano, they still have a lot of work ahead of them. To make it easier, they’re working on automating it with button-pressing Lego Mindstorms-based robots. Dubbed Nanotron 3000, this line of robots can press the 3 buttons needed to test the iPod. Ideally, these robots should be able to go through over 23,000 addresses a day, which is much more efficient than doing it by hand. With luck, they’ll crack it soon.
Related: iPhone Linux
[via NYC Resistor]