Folks at AndroidCentral continue to sprinkle the bits of wisdom they have in their nice little heads. And this time I can’t do much but appreciate them for the work they are doing.
You may have read our post on how to rooting Android phone to gain root access of your phone and do all that fancy stuff that make you feel all powerful and wondrous about what all you can do with your phone. But we warn you, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. With rooting android, there comes a lot of potential risks and security threats that you may neglect or do not have any idea of. We will explain in detail what actually rooting does to your phone and why is that we are warning you to stay away from it.
How android system works
Android system is a basic UNIX system which works in the same way as your Linux operating system such Ubuntu, MintOS or your iMac. What is common in them everything from viewing an image to how the permissions are set for a particular user. They work in pretty much same way.
Now different users in a UNIX based operating system have different permissions, and they are given a “space” to work on. Within this space the user have full control of the data. He can read, write, manipulate or in sort of do anything he likes to with it, because it his data. For the space that is allocated to some other users, he may have only read access and no write or modify permission. Which means he can view other’s files, but not change them or create new files in other user’s area.
Similarly, Android operating system also have this area. You are not the owner of your phone. Just a user. And have a space for you. You have full access to your space. You can anything you want with your space on the phone. And the system files are in system user’s space. System user needs that area for core tasks like your phone’s firmware changes, or other improvements. You can view those files, but not modify them. Because it is not your space. On the other hand system can do anything with your files, because it’s the owner, all the space is his space. Even the one that is yours.
This done for your protection. Making those file only accessible to system users protects your phone for some unwanted and evil changes that you make willingly or unwillingly. Making changes to these files can be a good thing or a bad one. It may enhance the phone’s performance or it may totally brick it. Making it completely unusable
Now before we move on, let me tell you what role files play in Android operating system. Everything that happens in your Android phone is because of a file. Every action you perform in your phone takes place due to some file. How?
The thing is, every action, even the simplest one, is written on a file in android, by the kernel, which reads the action and then tells the Android Operating system to execute. How you do things in Android is based on what is written to those specific files and then executed. So if for some reason, the data on these files is changed, it can bring drastic changes to how your phone behaves.
Why rooting Android is dangerous?
Now that you know about users, user space and files on Android Operating system. Let’s talk about rooting Android. Rooting is, in a simple way, gaining access to root user. Root user, in every UNIX based OS is a super user. The reason it’s called a super user is that Root have full access to every user space. It can roam around anywhere, in any user space and make any changes.
The reason your phone manufacturers do not enable it by default is that they do not want every mediocre phone user to do some silly changes in the crucial files of the operating system and then come back shouting at them to claim the warranty. That’s one reason why rooting Android phone voids your manufacturer warranty. Because, you are doing what you were not supposed to do. You are putting your data and your phone at risk.
But in case you do root your Droid. Let us tell what risks you have to encounter.
Root user, can do anything with your phone. It can change the CPU clock speed higher or lower or completely stop it. Tell your CPU to stay awake all the time or to go to sleep forever. Disable the dialler, stop phone’s signal reception, disable the camera of your phone, or all in all, make it unusable and leave you a piece of motherboard with a beautiful screen on it.
See, now you know the reason why phone manufactures do not enable you the root access?
Well this might be useful setting for one who knows what to do and how to do it. Well for the one who wants to improve the phone’s performance, and knows what to do to achieve it, this root access is somewhat he can fancy. When you are in root mode, you have to write up some commands to carry out these tasks. You can write these commands in the phone’s terminal or use Android SDK+ADB to do that.
But for the ones, who do not want to get into this commands typing thing, or who do not have the knowledge of SDK and ADB, they opt for a simpler method i.e. apps that help them do these tasks.
Now what you do is, click on a certain option that the app wants you to, and that will run some certain commands that will carry out s=certain tasks for you. Now, do you really think that you can trust these apps?
For a flashback, let me remind you, the root user have full access to all your data, in fact it have full access to everything that your phone can do.
Are you really ready to put your privacy and a lot of useful information in the hands of these apps? Now, there is a lot of information on your phone, that you do want to protect and no way in hell want it to become public. These may be your credit card details, your bank account credentials or your private stuff. When you are rooted, you allow certain applications to collect that data because, you have the super user access, and no one can stop you. This is a big security risk we are talking about here. And in this Internet age, where web scandals and cyber-crimes are increasing day by day, trust us, you do not want to be a victim.
Well most of these apps do what they claim to do, but you never know when the vengeance will fall upon you. When you choose to trust these apps and go by the simple click method, you do not know what you are doing to your phone. And in this make your phone dead. Irrecoverable.
Now these apps do not do anything by themselves. They need your permission to do it. And most of the time you give it. Why? Because it may be a hidden script that runs alongside the one that you were wishing for. That’s how data is stolen. Rooting your android makes the phone vulnerable to threats that come from you, and not from itself.
To wind up, I must say, to go the rooting way or not is entirely up to you. But, just for the sake of security and less cyber-crime, we recommend it to people who have exact idea of what they are doing to their phone. For the ones who just want good phone experience, try not to go on the rooting route.