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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.