The hacker known for releasing the first iPhone jailbreak and for hacking the Sony PS3 has done it again, this time for the owners of Android smartphones. George Hotz has used a simple vulnerability found in phones which use an unpatched version of the Linux Kernel, to release a simple one-click root method that works with most new flagships out there.

Hotz, also known as geohot, has developed Towelroot, a simple .apk that will root your phone in a few simple steps. This method has been proven to work on the previously unrootable Verizon and AT&T branded Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3, but also on the Sprint Note 3, Google Nexus 5 and AT&T Galaxy S4 Active. However these are only the devices tested by geohot. Towelroot is based on a simple vulnerability in the Linux Kernel, discovered by another hacker named Pinky Pie (Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153). According to geohot, Towelroot should work on all devices that have an unpatched kernel (older than June 3, 2014) except for those from  HTC and Motorola, which have another form of root protection. A short look on the specialty forums proves that the root method works with many Android devices from various manufacturers.

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How to use Towelroot:

1. Go to and press on the big ‘lambda’ (λ) sign. This will download the .apk. Install it on your device (make sure you have ‘unknown sources’ checked in Settings>Security)

2. Open the apk, click on ‘make ir ra1n’ and wait :)

3. For more info check out this thread on Xda developers.

Disclaimer: We do not encourage you to root your devices. Use this, or any other root proceedure, at your own risk. This method has not been tested on all devices, and may cause harm to your phone up to, and including, “hard-bricking” your device and rendering it permanently unusable. 

And as always, we end with an invite: don't be a stranger and join our community - be a part of the conversation where we help each other out, discuss the latest and greatest, and make the best of our tech.

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What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool