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Malicious worm targets jailbroken iPhones

updated 01:45 pm EST, Mon November 23, 2009

Code works in similar way to recent 5 Euro scam

A new worm has begun targeting iPhones and iPod touches, however it only appears to attack jailbroken devices, according to the security company Sophos. The worm, which works in a similar way to the recent 5 Euro scam, was reportedly discovered after a Dutch ISP noticed unusually high volumes of data traffic.

Unlike the earlier extortion scheme and a separate Rick Astley worm, the latest virus utilizes command-and-control code that allows hackers to access personal information. A variety of IP ranges have been targeted, leaving ISPs such as UPC, Optus and T-Mobile vulnerable. Any stolen data is then uploaded to a Lithuanian server, while each device is assigned a unique ID as a reference for the attackers.

Creators of earlier worms had warned users to change the default root password from the default of "alpine." The malicious worm takes advantage of this vulnerability by changing the password to prevent the user from securing the device.

Although the intent of the worm is unclear, it apparently searches for mTANs authentication messages which contain one-time passwords for bank logins.

Owners of jailbroken iPhones may notice extremely short battery life after infection when connected to Wi-Fi networks. Users can also check to verify that the root password is still "alpine." If it has been changed, Sophos blogger Paul Ducklin has posted the alleged new password.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    Bad Press

    I really think it's disappointing that most of the press covering this issue isn't really highlighting the fact that this doesn't affect iPhones, it only affects hacked/jailbroken devices with unauthorized software modifications. People who use their phones legitimately aren't getting these worms.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Bad Press

    I really think it's disappointing that most of the press covering this issue isn't really highlighting the fact that this doesn't affect iPhones, it only affects hacked/jailbroken devices with unauthorized software modifications. People who use their phones legitimately aren't getting these worms.

  1. Bearcat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Duh!

    Yet another reason NOT to mess with the internal coding of your phones, iPhone or otherwise! You break the code, you will pay the price at some point.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Right...

    People who use their phones legitimately aren't getting these worms.

    Legitimately? Who gets to decide whether it is legitimate or not?

    And maybe if Apple weren't so dictatorial about deciding what programs one can and cannot put on their phones, people wouldn't need to jailbreak them to get them to do what they want, for, then, there wouldn't be a need to put an SSH server on the phone and, as such, wouldn't leave the phone vulnerable.

    Yet another reason NOT to mess with the internal coding of your phones, iPhone or otherwise! You break the code, you will pay the price at some point.

    No, this is another reason why people should change the default password on devices and software that come with a default password. If you installed a pre-packaged SSH server on your home computer and didn't change the pre-packaged pre-defined password, you're leaving yourself open to being hacked as well.

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