If you are one of those users who had jailbroken their iPhones but did not care to change the default password after installing SSH, you might want to do it now.
A new worm has been infecting those jailbroken iPhones that still carry the same default 'alpine' password.
As such, the worm is pretty harmless. Created by an Australian hacker going by the name 'ikee', the worm changes the wallpaper of your iPhone to that of popular 1980s singer Rick Astley, with an adjoining text 'ikee is never going to give you up'.
So, how did the worm spread? In an interview given to an Australian blogger, 'ikee' says that the worm was initiated from the hacker's phone by scanning the neighborhood 3G IP range as well as a few other random IP ranges for jaibroken iPhones whose SSH was turned on with the default root:alpine configuration. Once a vulnerable phone is detected, the worm replicates itself on to this new destination and repeats the process of scanning for more vulnerable handsets.
If you are among those affected, folks at TUAW have offered a fix to the problem.
Here's how, if you are using terminal:
Type: ssh root@(iPhone IP address)
When prompted for the password type: alpine
Now you're connected the phone…
It should then prompt your for a new password — type one that you'll remember. There's no easy way to reset it if you forget it.
We would recommend you to checkout our article on tips to keep your iPhone secure, in which we had adviced users who had jailbroken their iPhone to change the root password.
Though this could be seen as a terrible prank, it has served as a fine wake-up call to those of us who had not secured our iPhones enough. We would like to hear from our readers if anyone was affected with this latest worm. In that case, please don't forget to tell us if the fix above worked.
Thanks Tim for the tip!