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Hacker Takes Control of iPhones, Requests $

A hacker in the Netherlands supposedly took control of several jailbroken iPhones on T-Mobile Netherlands and asked for ransom, according to a post in a Dutch forum. Users were unaware of the wireless siege until the hacker sent fake SMS text massages, claiming that the devices were unsecure. To solve the problem, the iPhone users were directed to a website and told to pay a fee via PayPal to restore security.

"Right now, I can access all your files," the warning read. "This message won't disappear until your iPhone's secure." According to a translation by Ars Technica, the hacker used port scanning to identify the jailbroken iPhones with SSH running. Apparently enabling SSH is a common practice with jailbroken iPhones, enabling users to log in via Terminal and execute UNIX commands. However, iPhones have a default root password that many jailbreakers forget to change.

Once the hacker gained access, he replaced the wallpaper with a fake SMS message. Upon visiting the website, frightened users are required to shell out €5 to a PayPal account and receive instructions on how to secure the device. Evidently, the instructions weren't exactly technical: it only required the end-user to restore the device to its original factory settings.

Currently the URL provided in the message leads to a page indicating that the site was reported for spam or phishing abuse, and has been deactivated. However, the original website offered a "scare tactic," saying it was fine if the end-user didn't pay, however thousands of other hackers would do the same thing.

  • mlopinto2k1
    It takes all kinds.
  • ssalim
    That's what you get from escaping jail.
  • Manos
    If they were dumb enough to not change the root password of their jailbroken iPhones all it took was a dumb "hacker" for the apropriate audience. Next
  • daft
    darn, the sites down for phishing/spam
  • cheepstuff
    if some jerk was dumb enough to hack my iphone, the last thing i would do is pay them money. a huge problem is people decide that jailbreaking is a good idea use a simple internet guide. this is nice except they don't understand how their iphone works. this means somebody can go and scare some people into forking over a ton of money (collectively).
  • megamanx00
    The dudes paypal account is already suspended and he posted an apology along with instructions on how to secure the iPhone. I'm honestly surprised it's taken this long as this particular vulnerability has been documented. What I'm worried about is when someone figures out why the iGrenade blows up and if they can trigger that behavior remotely.
  • PodSix
    erm, plug into itunes, hit restore. problem solved.
  • rippleyhakd
    CLAASSICCC.. The problem is, that if this guy, did it so easilyyyyyyy... What will be next?
  • david714
    my man...
  • mavroxur
    OH NOES! An Apple got hacked! Initating fanboy defense in 5...4...3...2...