Change iPhone's Root Password

Lately, there has been an issue that some hackers have managed to create a virus for the iPhone platform - a worm, particular.

Many sources claim that this worm was created by someone calling himself "ikex" as an "experiment", and one of the major infection the worm does is changing the iPhone's wallpaper to a 1980s pop star Rick Astley.

And... the devices being vulnerable to this virus, people claim, are only jailbroken iPhones who have installed SSH!

To be honest, whether you have a non-jailbroken or a jailbroken iPhone, you must be somehow feeling threatened (as I am). I mean, who doesn't love an iPhone's functionality?

Luckily, there are some ways to prevent viruses infecting your iPhone. Whether they are efficacious or not, I am not sure either. But, as a precaution, these might be great.

1. Do not install SSH.

SSH is a very useful service for people who want to customize their iPhones further and can only be installed when an iPhone has been jailbroken (that's why non-jailbroken ones are not threatened!). However, the virus has been claimed to enter the device through this service. The issue probably lies in the default password SSH is using. Everyone in this world is using the same default password, which is "alpine". That is probably why it should be easy for the virus to spread worldwide. Hack one password, and the whole world is in danger.

That is why I prefer not to install SSH at first place. If you use SSH to access the iPhone's filesystem, you may want to try to use some applications that enable wireless file sharing, such as Air Sharing or iFile(if you have a jailbroken one). Both may be cost some dollars, but it may be better to lose $1-2 dollars instead of the iPhone itself, right?

However, if you still prefer to use SSH but don't want to be infected either, there is also a way.

2. Change iPhone's root password.

Since the worm has been set to infect devices that use the default root password, it may be wise to change the root password itself. That way, the worm may not be able to trespass the device's security. Clever, isn't it? However, this method has not been really proven to be efficacious. But, worth to try, isn't it?

Here is a visual tutorial how to change the password, both root and mobile, in less than 2 minutes!

PS. This only works for jailbroken iPhones :]

Step 1:

Install Mobile Terminal from Cydia. Don't worry, it's free and doesn't take so long to download!

Step 2:

Open Terminal. The first line that should appear by default is iPhone: ~mobile$. This means you're logged in as mobile.

Type in login root to log in as root. 

Step 3:

You would be attempted you enter a password. Enter alpine. That should be the default password for both mobile and root.

Step 4:

A new line should appear, indicating that you are logged in as root. iPhone: ~root#.

Now, to change the password, simply type in passwd (remember, it's not a typo, it's really passwd!)

Step 5:

Changing password for root will appear. You will be asked to enter your new password. Believe me, it can be anything you like. Tap Enter and you will be asked to retype. If you have done so, CONGRATULATIONS! YOU JUST CHANGED YOUR ROOT PASSWORD!

This way, you can also change your mobile password. After this, you may return logging in to mobile. Once you are logged in, type passwd again. You may be required to enter the old password. It's alpine in default. Then, change the password as you did for root. Voila!

Changing the mobile password may not be quite necessary, but I would do that just as a precaution. :]

That's quite all! Simple, isn't it?

Now, if you want to log in SSH on your computer, may it be through Cyberduck or WinSCP, remember to type in your newly created root password, not alpine. This way, you should still be able to access your filesystem without being threatened by worms.


More by this Author

Comments 3 comments

chris 4 years ago

i have iphone 4s iOs 5.0.1 terminal flashes up then dissapears when i try to open it. Cannot get it to work!

Lanthanoider profile image

Lanthanoider 4 years ago Author

maybe you should try reinstalling terminal? i suppose you have jailbreaked your phone? remove it through cydia and then install it again. If that doesnt work, give a shout :)

Audat 4 years ago

There's more than one app that can be used mate, I ran into your problem so I just tried the other app with the same name, surely there's a multitude of other apps

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article