Apple Comments on iPhone Jailbreak/SSH Worm: You Shoulda Known Better


We've said it over and over again, if you Jailbreak your iPhone, install SSH, don't change the default SSH password, and get on a network with a bad guy, they can hold you hostage, Rickroll you, steal your data, or turn your iPhone into a bot -- and according to Apple, you should have known that before you jailbroke.

Okay, sounds straight out of the EFF counter-complaint but fair enough. We're big believers in personal responsibility and when and if we Jailbreak, we take personal responsibility for it (and we absolutely, positively, don't install SSH or change our passwords if we do!). Still Apple's Natalie Harrison pulls no punches with their comments, via the Loop

“The worm affects only a very specific set of iPhone users who have jail broken their iPhones and hacked it with unauthorized software. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones, and for good reason. These hacks not only violate the warranty, they will also cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably."

We're guessing many don't even know Jailbreak is an option. They place calls, surf the web, play games, and are perfectly content. For power users, absent power features from Apple, Jailbreaking remains compelling. (Just practice safe hacks! And check the TiPb iPhone Jailbreak Forum if you need advice!)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple Comments on iPhone Jailbreak/SSH Worm: You Shoulda Known Better


Two unrelated thoughts.
1) PwnageTool and similar tools should prompt you to change the default password.
2) How is it that multiple articles state only a small percentage of iPhones are Jailbroken, yet game developers say 40% of their apps are stolen? While I'm Jailbroken, I've never stolen an app, though I can imagine how it's done, and it seems to me you must be jailbroken to do it.
So how can so many apps be stolen when so few phones are broken?

JB sucks. Not putting my $560 iPhone software in the hands of someone that just got out of highschool last year. did it to my 3G for a few days. It sucked. Froze, font was jacked, locked up nothing was done on the half assed middleschool put together icons and themes. It was an overall horrible experience. Never again

I reckon it's fair enough to be honest, if you jailbreak there are inherent risks involved. Don't think I'd take the risk myself - I think a phone's too important.

Play with fire, you might get burned...
... It is exciting though.
I never thought jailbreaking is worth voiding my two year warranty. When I upgrade, I might play around before passing my 3g on.

No jailbreak here. I get my work email, make calls, send mms, and surf the web. I don't need stacks on my phone, I have a MacBook Pro... I do realize there are benefits to jailbreaking but those aren't for me.

You said that most people don't know about jailbreaking. I'll admit, there are a few, but at my high school, I know MANY more people with iPhones and iPod touches than PSPs or Nintendo DSs. In my 5th hour, we spend a lot of our time talking about Tap Tap Revenge! And I'd guess that about 50% of these devices are jailbroken, and the rest say it sucks.
BTW no, I don't go to a fancy high school and no, I don't live somewhere like Beverly Hills.
The other thing I want to mention is that as an owner of all 3 iPod touches, jailbreaking is less of an appeal each time around. With the first one, I jailbroke for the games and apps alone, as there was no App Store until July 2008. With the second one, I jailbroke specifically for the copy/paste, search, and emulators. I've tried again with this one, but I undid it because I hated the "tethered" jailbreak. But once this issue is fixed, I very well may do it again, all for the multitasking, which I think will appear in 4.0. Once this happens, I'll have no need to jailbreak. Personally, I don't care about themes and folders, now that I get everything from Spotlight.

I hate a lot of the false information out there about jailbreaking,
For example, i have a very happily jailbroken iphone, and its as stable if not more so that on stock firmware, i have the control over processes and can free memory when i need to game. The only thing ive ever found to be unstable is running winterboard because it uses a bigger footprint or some of the less mature mods, but if these fail you have a safe mode to back you up.
anyone jailbreaking their phone should take precautions, the news has been everywhere now, if you managed to find how to jailbreak online you'll no doubt havt seen all the mesasage.
As i understand it pwnagetool/blackrain/snowbreeze were looking at prompting for password change as part of the process.

I've jailbroken since day one, and I have less trouble than my wife who has never jb hers. The thing is, it's too easy to jb, so you get every Joe schmo doing it and not understanding any of the risks involved with rooting the system

I think it would be funny if there was a trap somewhere inside the iPhone that not only bricked it if JB, but also burned a picture of Steve Jobs mooning the Jailbreaker permanently on the screen.

I jailbrock with blackrain but I don't have ssh installed instead I have open ssl is my phone still in danger of this worm??? Thx in advance.

I myself was very sceptical on jailbreaking my 3GS, I never gave it a thought when I had my 3G. But, I decided that I wanted my phone a little more customized for me. I hated the fact that when my girlfriend would get a email or VM I'd look at my phone thinking it was mine and vise versa. So I jailbroke mine a few months ago. My thoughts: I agree that some of the themes and sounds etc are a bit sketchy and cheap looking for an iPhone. So I just made my own icons and springboard backgrounds with my own theme, not making them super cheesy looking for an iPhone, but just enough to make it mine. I love the fact that it is personalized for me now. A few months later, my girlfriend wanted it done and we both love it. I've had to reset my phone a few times but no more or less than when it wasn't JB. I also did change my ssh password as well cause that is definately asking for trouble if it is not done. All in all, I love JB and I'll stick with it until apple starts making it a little more unique for the user out of the box. Again without going overboard and making it cheesy.

yes even a restore if it did not write the new data over the old data location can be recoverd.
if apple does this or not, nobody know but 99% they do to gauge returns on jailbroken phones since restore does not write the while 8/16/32 gigs of ram but rather flags all to free then just dumps the files.

LOL its funny to see all the people who seriously hate JBers. As if they have done some sort of harm to them. Its F***ing stupid. I'm just saying

hey, when i JB my iphone it would never come back on. now my laptop wont even recognize the iphone plugged in. Can you help me?

If u jb and ur phone does not turn on, or ur comp does not recognize it, press both home and power button at the same time. Hold it until the apple logo comes back on and let it restart. No worries. Jailbreaking is fun.

jailbreaking is not only fun but in my opinion nessecary as far as im concerned. anyone not able to use a jailbroken phone or change a password (or even just turn ssh off) needs to research what they are doing! before i jailbroke my phone i had no idea what i was doing, now i am quite a geek when it comes to jailbreaking, knowing what i am doing, when i am doing it, just by googling the info i need.. common sense always prevails

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