Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

JD Howard only Wanted to see the cloud security tutorial. Howard, a construction worker at rest, spent $ 4,000 on the NordicTrack X32i treadmill, which has a 32-inch HD screen and the opportunity to exercise body and mind. Her plan was to spend time away from work practice while watching technical videos from learning platforms like PluralSite and Udemi. But he had another idea of ​​the treadmill.

Despite having a huge display stuck in it, NordicTrack’s hardware forces people to subscribe to exercise software run by its parent company iFit and prevents you from watching videos from other apps or external sources. iFit’s content includes exercise classes and running routes, which automatically change the treadmill’s curve depending on the terrain of the screen. But Howard, and many other Nordic track owners, weren’t drawn to the hardware by iFit’s videos. They were fascinated by how easy it was to hack fitness machines.

To access his X32i, Howard would have to tap the touchscreen 10 times, wait seven seconds, then tap 10 more times. Doing so unlocks the machine – allowing Howard to access the built-in Android operating system. This privilege mode, a kind of God mode, gives Howard complete control over the treadmill: he can sideload apps and access anything and everything online, using a built-in browser. “It wasn’t complicated,” Howard said. After accessing Privilege Mode, he installed a third-party browser that allowed him to save passwords and fire his favorite cloud protection videos.

Although NordicTrack does not advertise privilege mode as a customer feature, its existence is not a secret. Multiple unofficial guides tell people how to access their machines, even explaining iFit’s support pages. How to access it. The whole reason for buying Howard X32i, he says, is because he can access God mode. But the good times did not last long.

Since October, NordicTrack has been automatically updating all of its exercise equipment বড় its bikes, ellipticals, and rowing machines বড় with large screens attached to block access in privilege mode. The move has angered customers who are now fighting and looking for solutions that bypass their updates and allow them to see what they want while working.

“I got exactly what I paid for,” Howard said, adding that before buying the Internet-connected model, he already owned a “bad” treadmill without a screen and was a customer of the iFit software. “Now they are trying to snatch it [features] Which is very important to me. I’m not right with that. “

Another Nordictrack owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the treadmill was one of the most expensive purchases he had ever made and that he was “outraged” when the update prevented him and his partner from seeing football highlights from Netflix, YouTube and the English Premier League. “You actually pushed an update to stop me from doing this, which is really weird,” he says. “It’s very frustrating because this beautiful screen is here.”

They are not alone in their complaints. In recent weeks Multiple Thread And Post Lament The decision to lock down the privilege mode of NordicTrack and iFit has been announced online. While consumers complain that they have spent thousands of dollars on their machines and should be able to do whatever they like with them, many argue that being able to watch their favorite shows means they are more likely to spend time working. Some say they value iFit’s ability to cast exercise videos on a larger screen; Others say they want to use their treadmill for zoom calls. Many complained that, unlike previous software updates, they were forced to block privilege mode.

A spokesman for NordicTrack and iFit said, “The block was installed automatically in privilege mode because we believe it increases safety and security when using fitness equipment with multiple moving parts.” The spokesman added that the company has never marketed its products as being able to access other apps. “Since there is no way to know what kind of changes or bugs a consumer might introduce into the software, there is no way to know what specific problems might be caused by accessing privilege mode,” the spokesman said. “Therefore, in order to maintain safety, security and functionality of the machine, we have restricted access to privilege mode.” The spokesman further emphasized that the privilege mode was “never designed as a consumer-oriented functionality.” Rather, it was designed to allow the company’s customer service team to remotely access products to “troubleshoot, update, reset or repair our software.”

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