How to make your iPhone a hacker's dream machine

Macs and iPhones are pretty secure, but jailbroken iPhones become the perfect vector for attacks

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After that came an even worse Ikee-derived worm that takes advantage of jailbroken iPhones. This one is a botnet, turning iPhones into zombies that silently infect other nearby jailbroken iPhones. It also changes the root password to prevent users from changing the passwords themselves (if your root password is now "ohshit," you've been hacked, as the default password is "alpine"). The infected iPhones get a unique ID that tells the hackers' server in Lithuania that you are a member of the botnet, for easier reconnections to get more data from you later. It also added a fake URL to a Dutch bank in an apparent password-phishing scheme.

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I think it's ironic -- and almost funny -- that the type of technically savvy person who would jailbreak his or her iPhone ends up being a prime target and even a venue for cyber attacks.

It's great news that the iPhone is -- when unmolested -- fairly immune to these issues. But it's also scary how easy it is for even smart people to make their critical technology systems insecure.

It's understandable that people want to break outside the limits that Apple (or other vendors) set. But it's clear that if you begin the jailbreak journey, you have to take the effort to rebuild the security you just disabled unknowingly. Otherwise, your iPhone will be just as (in)secure as a garden-variety PC.

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This article, "How to make your iPhone a hacker's dream machine," was originally published at Follow the latest developments on the iPhone, mobile computing, and security at


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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