Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Changing your root iPhone password

There was a recent story circulating around Twitter and several RSS feeds about someone hacking into iPhones and holding them hostage for a certain amount of money.

There's a simple way to avoid this. Change the root password to your iPhone. Anyone jailbroken already knows the root password to your iPhone is "alpine". And if you're anything like me, sometimes when you're done SSH'ing into your iPhone, you forget to turn openSSH access to your phone off through SBSettings.

Since I'm so forgetful, I just change my root password so it doesn't make it that easy for someone to hack into my phone remotely.

Changing your root password on your iPhone is actually quite simple and here are the steps (I'm not providing screen shots for this as it's a relatively straight forward process):

1. Download MobileTerminal from Cydia or your choice of installer if you don't already have it.

2. After you have MobileTerminal, launch it. Upon launch, you will see a command prompt.

3. Type su and hit return and you will then be asked for a password. This is logging you in as an administrator.

4. Your default password is alpine so enter that and press return again.

5. Now type passwd then hit return.

6. You should now be prompted to enter a new password. Enter your new password here and hit return.

7. You'll be asked to verify your new password, so do that, hit return, and you're done!

You now do not have the default alpine password anymore, which makes it harder for people to get into your phone using SSH vulnerabilities. In less than 30 seconds, you've protected yourself from several potential hacking threats.

Don't you feel better now?