So, it looks like zx2c4 has found a local privilege escalation exploit. See source here, and saurik has managed to package it together for Android. See here. Although this may be old news to some, I hadn't seen it before.

So what does this all mean:

  • If you are running a 2.6.39 kernel (or above), which all Galaxy Nexus' are, you can now root your device without having to unlock your bootloader (and without losing your data).
  • Moreover, you should now be able to root your device even if your hardware buttons are not working.
  • Additionally, this allows those who have not received an OTA update and want to apply it without having an unlocked bootloader or root to do so by copying the OTA update to /cache from /sdcard.


Notes:
1) This assumes that you have the drivers for your device installed on your computer.
2) This needs to be done over ADB, as a terminal emulator on-device does not have the appropriate access.

Step-by-step:
1) Download the attached files to your computer and unzip them in the same directory as your adb.exe file;
2) Open a command prompt in the same directory;
3) Copy the files to your device:

adb push mempodroid /data/local/tmp/mempodroid
adb push su /data/local/tmp/su
adb push Superuser.apk /data/local/tmp/Superuser.apk


4) Open a shell: adb shell
5) Change permission on mempodroid to allow it to run: chmod 777 /data/local/tmp/mempodroid
6) Run the exploit: ./data/local/tmp/mempodroid 0xd7f4 0xad4b sh

Note: Once you do step 6, your prompt should change from $ to #. If not, it did not work.

7) Mount the system partition as rw: mount -o remount,rw -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 /system
8) Copy su to /system: cat /data/local/tmp/su > /system/bin/su
9) Change permissions on su: chmod 06755 /system/bin/su
10) Copy Superuser.apk: cat /data/local/tmp/Superuser.apk > /system/app/Superuser.apk
11) Change permissions on Superuser.apk: chmod 0644 /system/app/Superuser.apk
12) Mount the system partition as r/o: mount -o remount,ro -t ext4 /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 /system
13) Rescind root: exit
14) Exit the ADB shell: exit
15) Done. You now should have root without having to unlock your bootloader.


Attached Files
File Type: zip Root-locked-GN.zip

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