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In their statement regarding the recent threat, a worm that potentially
can steal financial data, Apple parentally tsk-tsks users sporting
jailbroken phones that modding in this way "not only violate[s] the
warranty [but] will also cause the iPhone to become unstable and not
It has the benefit of being true, though. Opening up your phone through jailbreaking, while giving you greater app flexibility among other things, can leave your iPhone exposed to hackers. If you're going that route, be sure to change your root password from the default "alpine."
Image Source: Instructables.com
As might seem natural, the
first hack merely Rickrolled the user's wallpaper, but the threats have
grown worse. A few weeks back, jailbroken iPhones were at the center
of a 5 Euros scam where a hacker compromised the same security hole and
changed the wallpaper to a message directing users to his site. There,
with a PayPal link, he offered instructions to close the hole for five
This demonstrated a low level of of malice, but the scam paved the way for others. According to Sophos, the latest threat is a worm that attacks jailbroken iPhones in the Netherlands, Australia and other countries. The worm changes the handset's root password, scans through your SMS database looking for other phones to infect, and will redirect users of a Netherland bank site to a fake site to collect their login info. The only way to get rid of the worm is to restore your iPhone's firmware.
As smartphones become an ever more prevalent part of our lives, it's clear that such threats are going to be with us for some time to come and are only going to get worse. If you're going to strike out on the road away from the protections offered by Cupertino, remember to be vigilant.