Hacking Symbian^3 Phones to Install Unsigned Apps [Obsolete]

UPDATE (15th Sept. 2011) – A new very simple and fully working Symbian hacking method is now available for all S60 versions (including Symbian^3). So please refer to this post for the tutorial (no key/certificate, flashing or custom firmware required).

Note that following method will work only if you have your phone specific certificate and key ISSUED BEFORE 23rd June 2011. While the above method does not require any cer/key file.

Older hacking methods (like HelloOx) that worked well in older Symbian versions (Symbian^1 – 3rd and 5th ed) are useless in newer Symbian^3 phones. HelloOx has not been updated since ages; perhaps the developers (hackers) have lost interest in a dying OS. So what to do in case you want to install loads of apps in your swanky new Symbian^3 phone but it is giving annoying “expired certificate” errors? Well, there are three options for you:

A. Sign all the apps with your device specific “Certificate” and “Key” (Read here to know how to do this)
B. Install a custom/cooked (hacked) firmware on your phone to hack it (risky!!)
C. Hack the phone by HackIt! method (Replacing the original installserver.exe with the hacked one plus some other changes)

In this post I will describe the last option (thanks to CODeRUS I have successfully hacked my Nokia C7 and N8 using this method). Carefully follow the instructions given below -

1. Download the “Symbian^3_Hacking_Kit” from here and extract the files from archive using WinRAR etc

2. Sign “Cert_Hack_Installer.sis” (see update at the end of the post) with your own (phone specific) “Key” and “Certificate” (If you don’t know how to sign, read this post first)

3. Send the signed Cert_Hack_Installer.sis (signed in step 2) and Cert_Updater.sisx to phone and install “Cert_Updater.sisx” first (it is already signed so DO NOT sign it with your cert and key), confirm replace if asked during installation.

4. Now install the “Cert_Hack_Installer.sis” (that you signed in Step 2 above)

5. A new app will appear in the phone with the name “HackIt!”. Go to “Menu/Applications/HackIt!” and launch “HackIt!”. Wait for the process to complete (until the message “Successfully hacked” or something like that appears). Woohoo!!! Your phone is hacked!!! Enjoy installing any app without any hassle.

6. An all-capability “File Browser” (Menu/RnD Tools/FileBrowser) app will also be installed during the above process (However if it does not then install “S^3_FileManager” (Given in the “Kit”). This “File Browser” gives full system access (read/write/delete capability) to the user.
If there is any error during “HackIt!” process (Step 5), restart the phone and run “HackIt!” again. Also if the phone still gives “certificate error” during app installation then run FileBrowser (Menu/RnD Tools/FileBrowser) and copy “installserver.exe” (Given in the “Symbian^3 hacking kit” above) to C:/sys/bin folder. Confirm overwrite if prompted….and done!!! For any queries please leave a comment.

NOTE: This method is successful in all Nokia Symbian^3 devices (Nokia N8, C7, E7 and C6-01). Note also that updating phone firmware (or formatting the phone) will un-hack the phone and you will have to repeat the process again.

UPDATE (9th April 2011): Unfortunately the file “Cert_Hack_Installer.sis” given in the “Kit” above is not working so please use and sign this file instead (Download from here). Rest of the process remains the same…good luck

I have described hacking older Symbian phones using this method here in this Post.

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