Qualcomm BREW

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BREW, or Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, is a software development platform developed by Qualcomm. The runtime was originally intended for CDMA devices, but it also can be found on GSM phones as well. Feature wise, BREW has the potential to be very powerful as it uses C/C++ for development, but the brutal DRM tactics put in place make it unsuitable for developing homebrew applications on a BREW enabled phone.


BREW has multiple application signatures in place. One signature verifies the developer of the program, another verifies that the program has passed "True Brew" testing, and these signatures are protected using the phone's ESN and MEID which is in place to prevent sideloading of BREW applications.

There are ways to circumvent BREW DRM to run unsigned code, but do note the current ways to do so are complicated methods that usually involve not only running a phone firmware through a disassembler, but also hex editing of the firmware and patched flashing tools.

The only example of a BREW exploit is this, which appears to be a QSC60xx level exploit using modified drivers which "bypasses security features easily using a loop hole in the certificate expiration process".

(Author's note: It would be extremely impressive if someone were to get unsigned code running reliably on a BREW device.)

Versions of Brew[edit]

Version Released Backwards compatibility
1.0 2001 N/A
2.0, 2.1 2002 1.x
3.0, 3.1 2004 2.x
4.0 2007 2.x +
Brew MP 2009 3.x +

Phones that run Brew[edit]

Phone Brew version
Kyocera Kona MP 1.0.4
LG B470 3.1
LG Cosmos 3.1.5
LG Exalt MP 1.0.3
LG Extravert 2 MP 1.0.3
LG enV2 3.1.4
LG Revere 2 MP 1.0.2
LG Revere 3 MP 1.0.2
LG Shine 3.1
LG VX10 (built Aug 19 2002)
LG VX3300 3.0
LG VX4400 (built Aug 19 2002)
LG VX5300 3.1.4
LG VX5400 3.1.4
LG VX5500 3.1.5
LG VX8350 3.1.5
Pantech Crux MP 1.0.2
Samsung SCH-R460