iPhone worm hits Jailbroken phones

By now the media machine has moved into action and all sorts of nonsense has been spouted about the creation of a worm that spreads on jailbroken iPhones, written by a guy called ‘ikee’. The facts are these,

  1. It ONLY affects jailbroken phones – if your iPhone is not jailbroken then you are not vulnerable
  2. It ONLY affects jailbroken phones that have OpenSSH installed (This involves you having consciously installed OpenSSH)
  3. If you have changed the default passwords for the ‘root‘ and ‘mobile‘ accounts subsequent to installation, you will not be vulnerable to this worm.

It’s tempting to say ‘I told you so’ on this one, as, I actually did state this fact 2 days before the worm was released. On a panel at the AVAR2009 Conference discussing vendor future strategy, someone brought up the idea that the iPhone will be a desirable platform for exploitation. This is true, but as I pointed out, the biggest risk is not so much to users who are using the default OS provided by Apple, because they are in a strictly controlled environment, with Apple as the benevolent dictator, as it is to those users who have jailbroken phones, at which point – you’re on your own.The whole thing does highlight the potential though, there’s no reason why any platform is automagically protected from malware, so it’s no real surprise to anyone that this sort of thing has happened. David Harley (among others) has written more on this subject here, and as always, it’s worth reading.

Andrew Lee CISSP
AVIEN CEO

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