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Jailbreak tip: How to use Mobile Terminal to change the default SSH password [Jailbreak]

Just getting into Jailbreak and OpenSSH on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and curious how to change the default SSH password? Since Apple sets all iOS devices to "alpine", If you decide to enable SSH it is important for security reasons to change the password to something unique. Otherwise you risk someone else gaining access to your iPhone or iPad. We'll show you how after the break!

Here's what you need to do to change the default SSH password. Note, this method is only for jailbroken iOS devices with OpenSSH installed and MobileTerminal installed.

  • Download MobileTerminal from Cydia. (Make sure its version 426 if using iOS 4.x..)
  • Open MobileTerminal
  • In MobileTerminal, type in: su root
  • It’ll ask you for a password, type in: alpine
  • To make the screen a bit cleaner, type in: cd
  • Now, to change your password, type in: passwd
  • Enter the password you desire (You will not see the characters in the screen as you type them for security reasons)
  • Enter the password you entered once more
  • To change the password for the Mobile user, type in: passwd mobile
  • Enter the password you desire (You will not see the characters in the screen as you type them for security reasons)
  • Enter the password you entered once more

All done! You are now secure and may close MobileTerminal. If you have any questions ask in the comments or for additional help, check out our Jailbreak Help Forum.

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19 Comments
  • Why can't I find ver 426 on cydia?
  • This blog is falling apart - constantly finding typos: 'SHH' anyone?
  • What does the password alpine allow access to? Is it a real security risk? I've never heard of this... So jail breaking is being more secure? Wow...
  • No one can access SSH on your iPhone unless you Jailbreak and enable it. If you Jailbreak and enable it, you need to change the password so no one else can access it using the default "alpine" password.
    Analogy: if you computer isn't online, no one can get to it. If you put it online, you need a router, firewall, etc. to stop bad people from getting to it.
  • How do you change your password back?
  • This is not the version on Cydia. Anyone know where to get the version mentioned in this article??
  • Add this repository in cydia http://www.podzombie.com/repository/
    You'll find mobile terminal 426 there
  • I apologize. It was taken off Cydia since its still a Beta. You can get it by manually adding this Repo: http://www.podzombie.com/repository/
    This repo only has one file in it, Mobile Terminal 426, so you can delete the repo after you get MT.
  • Beat me to it Bubbha ;)
  • Also, you dont have to use MT. You can just open terminal on your SSH client. I use WinSCP and I can change my PWs with that...
  • I tried that with WinSCP. Couldnt figure it out for the life of me that way.
  • What does "after the break" mean? What break? I keep reading this on many of your articles. I don't understand. Am I supposed to be seeing a commercial or something?
  • @Tim, it means Page Break.
  • I don't even know what the hell you're all talking about.
  • Jailbreak does not automatically enable SSH. If you don't install OpenSSH nobody can SSH into your phone. In fact I can't think of a good reason to install it. Use Mobile Terminal to change passwords and other CL stuff. Use IFunbox to manage files. Changing your password is still a good practice.
  • Farbod I have a question for you. Can I send you an email?
  • Is this post still open? Hope it is :-))
    When you jailbreak you dont install ssh BUT it will be installed by other apps or tweaks (i said this cus i have ssh installed but i never did it manually).
    Have a question! Whats the diference of those 2 passwords , ssh password & mobile password ?
  • Hello all, first off, I don't know a darn thing about this ssh/MT stuff... Had my phone jailbroken for ages before I stumbled onto a site suggesting MT pw changes.
    Anyways...
    1) any way to check current password, or default back incase of pw forgetting?(wrote it down somewhere, didn't know what I was pw securing at the time so kinda threw it aside afterwards).
    2) given a user has your pw, what exactly kinda damages could someone cause to your phone through this ssh/MT thingy? Any tips on finding out if any security breaches have been made?
    3) MT is mysteriously interesting, I'd really like to get atleast a newbies handle on WTF this thing is/used for/can do... Any tips or reference links to a total newbified set of tutorials?
    Thanks a bunch in advance, :D
    Daniel
  • anyone got a solution for passwd lost? .. i total forget my passwd of root .. :S