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Owners of jailbroken iPhones who haven't changed their passwords have been rickrolled by a new worm.  (Source: Sophos)
Worm is first known iPhone worm, originated in Australia, may be spreading overseas

Rick Astley, an English singer-songwriter and musician, first became famous for his 1987 hit "Never Gonna Give You Up".  The music industry in the 1990s gave up on Astley, but Astley didn't give up on it.  He managed to recapture attention in 2007 thanks to one of the most infamous viral video crazes.  Links popped up all around the internet to Astley's hit and the term "rickrolling", originally referring to tricking people into watching the video, became a common colloquialism.

Now an internet worm is achieving what Apple has been unable to do -- punish those with jailbroken iPhones (phones freed of Apple's app restrictions).  Sophos, a leading security firm, appears to be the first to have investigated the amusing virus.  The virus, which "rickrolls" users, changing their wallpaper to an image of Rick Astley.  It appears to do little else other than spreading to other jailbroken iPhones in the user's contact list.

The worm can infect any jailbroken iPhone with SSH installed and an unchanged default password.  The password on jailbroken iPhones defaults to "alpine".  Users can change this by installing the MobileTerminal app, available from the Cydia undergound app store, and typing the command passwd.

While the Rick Astley worm appears to be mostly confined to Australia at this point, European iPhone users with jailbroken phones received a similar surprise last week.  A Dutch hacker sent numerous users with jailbroken iPhones a message, demanding they pay him 5 euros.  Like the Astley virus, the hacker took advantage of the fact that many users have jailbroken iPhones with unchanged passwords.  A "trivial" port discovery and login via the SSH protocol later, the hacker was able to post his ransom demand.

The hacker has since recanted and stopped asking people for Paypal payments, and has now posted free instructions of how to protect jailbroken iPhones.  While these incidents may have been mere annoyances, its seems only a matter of time before an actual malicious virus is unleashed on the jailbroken iPhone community.



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RE: Aaaand
By antimatter3009 on 11/9/2009 1:46:28 PM , Rating: 0
Same here. I have a jailbroken 3G, but when the 3.0 OS came out it really did address many of the reasons for jailbreaking. I still keep mine broken for 5 icon rows, realtime last.fm scrobbling, the occasional desire to background SimplifyMusic, and Intelliscreen. Of those, Intelliscreen is really what keeps me jailbreaking it. The rest I could live without, although on the rare occasion that I do use backgrounding, it would be really annoying to not have it.

Really, I think it comes down to being able to do what you want. For the vast majority of consumers, the iPhone does everything they'll ever want to do. That it is incapable of certain things is not relevant unless they want those things. For me, it's not quite enough, but I have no problem with messing with the phone for an hour to get what I want.


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