back to article Extortionist targets jailbroken iPhones

A Dutch hacker who threatened iPhone jailbreakers has relented on their threat to abuse unlocked handsets unless users pay €5. Some Dutch users of jailbroken iPhones got a shock when greeted with a message from a Dutch hacker claiming to have complete control of their beloved handset. The miscreant threatened to use that …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Simple Answer

    Don't buy locked-in shit that you need to hack for any decent functionality.

  2. James Robertson 2

    not worth it

    Thought about jail breaking, but with the app store its not worth the hassle.

    I guess however that this shows that Apple are in the right in locking down the phone for the average user anyway. If you then want to remove that protection yourself, fair enough, but watch out for this to become more common now that smart phones (not just iPhones) are becoming the norm.

  3. Julian Cook 1
    Jobs Horns

    Apple need to lighten up just a bit here

    I didn’t Jailbreak my iphone to download cracked apps nor to unlock it to use on other networks, I did so because it is my phone and if I want to have five icons on the bottom or even folders why should I have to do without because some stupid stuck up suite wants me to be a clone of everyone else.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So many nasties happen because people don't change the default password and yet the majority of vendors do not force end users to change their default password on startup. It's such a simple thing to ask the user for a password the first time they switch on their iPhone or access their voice mail or whatever it is that's been "hacked" this week. So why don't vendors do it?

  5. Matthew 25
    Jobs Horns

    @James Robertson 2

    Actually James, if apple hadn't been so awkward in locking down the phone in the first place, people wouldn't enable SSH to unlock it. There would be no hole to exploit.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple drives people into hacking phones

    Most people jailbreak for the operator unlock to move away from one network. Operator locks are illegal in a number of more foreward thinking companies. Now Apple is bigger than the operators and no longer needs exclusive deals it should allow unlocking.

    Once jailbroken the user is less likely to go back to the App store.

    The government are happy to increase carbon taxes on everything, but theiPhone at the end of its contract becomes a useless landfill brick when locked to a network like O2 with shoddy service and reception.

  7. adnim

    @James Robertson 2: Not worth it

    "I guess however that this shows that Apple are in the right in locking down the phone for the average user anyway"

    Whilst I agree with you that certain functions should be locked down by default, consumers are just that, consumers. They shouldn't be expected to understand what an operating system is wrt to a phone let alone ssh. I would however take your "Not worth it" sentiment a little further and apply it to the handset itself, or at least to the control that Apple wish to exercise over it.

    Apple could have supplied iPhones unlocked with sshd disabled. If the IPhone was not locked down in the first place, there would be no need to jail break them resulting in sshd running with a default password. Apple's greed and desire for control of their hardware is the root cause of this issue, not the consumers desire to fully utilise a device as they see fit.

    If Apple and the operators which push the iPhone were a little more honest and told users that they are renting and not buying the device, and that it is and always be the property of Apple then perhaps jail breaking would be less of an issue, but consumers like to own things and making such statements would likely affect iPhone rentals, er sales, mmm rentals, er sales?

  8. Annihilator

    @Simple Answer

    Yeah, you can definitely blame Apple for this one. Well, presumably you can on whatever planet you come from.

    What "decent functionality" does hacking the iPhone bring you exactly? Rest assured I'm here with a big list of "decent functionality" that it already comes with.

  9. TimB


    I just upgraded my firmware, and I thought the same - "I don't use any of the jailbroken stuff, so why bother?" After the upgrade, I remembered.

    I jailbreak my iPod Touch because of the French. More specifically, because of their silly law that means the iPod ships with the volume limit enforced at 70% in the EU. I like my music loud, and I'm not going to let a frenchman stop me having it that way.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    1) I can write and run my own code on my own phone

    2) I can override Apple policy decisions on my own phone


    Using a foreign SIM in my phone when I'm abroad

    Background spotify

    Ipod music controls to control spotify

    3) ...

    4) PROFIT

    Not decent enough?

  11. James Robertson 2

    shafted by everyone

    Given that every piece of software you "buy", and most hardware comes with conditions on how you are allowed to use it, I would think that people would be used to terms and conditions. I got an iPhone cos it suits me, if it didn't suit me I would "buy" another phone and use that with what ever terms and conditions that Phone/supplier/Carrier came with.

    All this bleating about its my phone I will do what I want, is crap. You agreed with the terms and conditions when you signed up and bought the phone. live with it, or get another make of phone elsewhere its that simple.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: TimB

    So YOU'RE that bloke on every train I get on whose music I can hear from across the carriage.

  13. Jason Hall

    ssh passwords

    I bought a second-hand 2G iPhone (wish I had a 3G but they are still far too expensive).

    The minute I got it home I Jailbroke it so I could use a different network SIM.

    Because I'm not stupid/a little more aware of these things I *READ* the instructions that came with Cydia and openSSH.

    Here's a tip:

    Once you jailbreak your iPhone - look at the title page of Cydia and look at the User Guides.

    The one that says: "OpenSSH Access How-To"

    At the bottom it says "Change Default Password"

    Corblimey Step 3 explains how to "Change the root Password", and 4 "Change the mobile Password"

    It's not exactly rocket science.

    Oh yeah - it still works with the AppStore without any problems even though it is now unlocked from the crappy o2 network.

    I *could* install copied software with a little messing - but why? Most apps are pretty cheap - and the ones which aren't - aren't worth the cash to me.

    Just wish I had the 3G instead... crappy 2g network... grumble... grumble... moan...

  14. Player_16

    @ James Robertson 2

    'All this bleating about its my phone I will do what I want, is crap!'

    I'm right beside you on this one.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I like how everyone likes to beat up on Apple users when the truth is "jailbreaking" is basically another term for rooting, which is required to enable tethering and multi-touch on Android devices.

    I'm not sure about BBs, I've never used one, but the only phones that come to mind that truely don't need to be "jailbroken" are WinMo devices.

    Let's stop bashing the user's for their choice in how they will be restricted, and start bashing the vendors for restricting us in the first place. We should be allowed to replace the OS on our phones. If a problem arises there should be a method for restoring the shipped OS to eliminate software problems thus not voiding the hardware warranty.

    I'm going back to my ideal world now. zzzZZZ.

  16. Neil 7

    @AC 16:26

    "I'm not sure about BBs, I've never used one, but the only phones that come to mind that truely don't need to be "jailbroken" are WinMo devices."

    Or Nokia tablets, including the soon to be available N900 - they have xterm built-in, and getting root access is just a simple, approved, download away.

    As for SSH on Nokia tablets/phones, during the openssh server installation it prompts you to enter a new password which is just good security practice - what happened with the Apple devices beggars belief.

    It's not Apple's fault, and it's not specifically the end users fault either (best to assume they don't know what they're doing). Fault lies with whoever put the SSH package together as they should have prevented it from installing without a new, non-default, password having been entered.

  17. Wrenchy

    @James Robertson 2, @Player_16

    >>"All this bleating about its my phone I will do what I want, is crap. You agreed with the terms and conditions when you signed up and bought the phone. live with it.."

    >>"I'm right beside you on this one."

    Jeez, the almighty Jobs sure has the two of you wrapped around his little finger doesn't he?? Typical Apple response to all their products. "Our way or the Highway." And there is the two of you to lap up all his commands like a trained dog.

    It's a good thing Apple doesn't make houses, cars, clothing or anything else we would like to customize to make our own. It would look like the world of 1984 where Big Brother told you what to think, say, do...... WAIT A SECOND. That sounds like the point I'm trying to make!

    Ironic that Apple used the theme of 1984 to promote the Mac. Day by day, product by product, THEY are becoming BIG BROTHER.

    Now run along and worship your great cult leader and tell everyone how Apple will save the world from becoming '1984'

  18. Daniel B.


    BBs don't need to be jailbroken either. The only "restriction" in place is that you need to get your modules signed if and only if you use one of the "restricted" calls, and that is only in place to avoid virus stuff from spreading. RIM will happily sign your code after checking it out, even open-sourced apps have been signed.

    The only ones I know who are stupid enough to restrict their phone so much are the Apple guys. This "hack" is bad PR for them, but I wonder if anyone outside the IT world will even find out about this. Maybe if someone else does something like this in the US and makes the 7 o'clock news...

  19. bygjohn


    Oh, get real. Everyone knows Apple lock down the iPhone, most people don't give a damn. It either works for you (in which case you buy one) or it doesn't (in which case you buy something else).

    Only a few determined people-with-too-much-time-on-their-hands can be arsed to jailbreak the thing in the first place, and now some who are plainly not capable of R-ing TFM have been bitten.

    Lesson to be learnt: either leave the damn thing alone and use it as intended, or if you're going to prat about with it, at least do it properly...

  20. Geo


    I don't know how people can moan about people wanting to jailbreak their phones. If I want different themes, icons, folders, youtube video downloading.. then why shouldn't I?? Its easy to say that if you don't like Apples terms buy a different phone but the fact remains that the Iphone is the best one out there!! The screen is great, works really well with Itunes, Fantastic design! There isn't really IMO an alternative!

    Someone said that consumers should not be expected to know what SSH is..This is true but if your a consumer wanting to meddle with hacking and unlocking a network device, its probably a good idea to understand the fundamentals of network security...

    Jason made perfect sense! If you do the research and jailbreak your phone, you should read ALL the guides. It clearly says on Cydia how to lock down your SSH connection etc...

  21. James Robertson 2


    I have a PC in the house that I can tinker with, do what I want take apart, put in Windows or Linix. The fact that I choose to have an iPhone does not make me a fanboy. I knew what the restrictions where when I bought it, so I don't jailbreak cos it does what I want, if it didn't I would get something else.

    So not sure where the wrapped round Apples finger comes from, unless its the fact that I can't stand whiny prats complaining about having to hack a phone that is clearly locked down and sold on that basis.

  22. James Robertson 2


    Hey if you want to hack you phone thats your choice, but my point is don't moan about it being locked, it was locked when you bought it and you knew it was locked, if it bothered you so much get something else.

  23. Michael Brown
    Jobs Halo

    @AC 14:34

    > 1) I can write and run my own code on my own phone

    You can do that without Jailbreaking. If you have the iPhone SDK you can develop and deploy apps to your own phone, no problem at all. Using ad-hoc distribution you can deploy your own apps to other people's phones aswell.

    > 2) I can override Apple policy decisions on my own phone

    > eg: Using a foreign SIM in my phone when I'm abroad

    Not being able to use a foreign SIM in your phone is not Apple's policy, it's your telco's policy and it's the same with any SIM-locked phone. The iPhone is available officially unlocked. It costs more, but then so do all other unlocked, contract free phones.

    Do all you people who complain about Apple "locking down" the iPhone also complain that VW (and all other car manufacturers) "lock down" the ECUs of their cars so that people can't tamper with the engine maps and turbo boost pressures? Yes, you can "jailbreak" (chip) your engine and get around that, but don't go crying to the garage when you lunch your engine.

  24. Geo


    To all the people saying.. "if you don't like the restrictions get something else" There isn't anything else anywhere near the same design/build quality of the iphone to go for.. Sure theres HTC's and all the rest but they're not Iphones! I do agree though that moaning about it being locked is pathetic.. if you want it unlocked as Michael said.. buy an unlocked one or... jailbreak it. No one HAS to hack they're Iphone and I don't agree that Apple force you to. They state quite clearly what you can and can't do with it.. If you want to do more with it, then Jailbreak it and do so.. I really don't see that there's anything to moan about. Anyone who jailbreaks their Iphone knows full well that they're doing it at their own risk and if you don't know fully what you're doing then this can leave you open to attacks such as the one detailed in this article.

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