Can you imagine that we’ve arrived in an age when a hacker can reach your cellphone, hack it and then demand a ransom to make it work again? This happened recently to some jailbroken iPhones in Netherlands, with a Dutch hacker taking them over and asking 5 euros in return to make them function again.
You must know that the jailbreak not only allows you to implement any third party software you want on the iPhone, but also exposes you to vulnerabilities. The Dutch hacker I’m talking about used port scanning to find jailbroken iPhones on T-Mobile Netherlands with SSH running (SSH enabling is common for jailbroken iPhones). Sadly, iPhones have a default root password that the user is too lazy to change, so the handset is vulnerable to such attacks.
The hacker found the handsets with unchanged root passwords, hacked the iPhones and sent an SMS alert to the owners (actually a replaced wallpaper) advertising his work with the address of a website. On that site the user was asked to send 5 euros to a Paypal account and then he would receive instructions on how to get rid of the hack. It’s very likely that the “instructions” only include restoring the iPhone to factory settings. The hacker is not all focused on evil purposes, since he says that if the user doesn’t pay it’s fine by him.
Security experts had previously found that port scanning can easily get them into iPhone hacking and downloading SMS databases, listening to calls and more. In the end the Dutch hacker caved and posted instructions on how to undo what he did to those iPhones. He also apologized for asking for money and even returned the profit! Now that’s a nice guy…