You may have heard the story a few days ago of a hacker who took a few iPhone owners hostages andpretty much blackmailed them into paying a fee.

For those of you who don’t know the story, here is a quick summary, courtesy of Gizmodo.

Apparently all that it took to terrify many Dutch iPhone users was a “trivial” port scanning technique and “a modicum of networking know-how.” After the hacker gained access to the jailbroken phones with unchanged root passwords and SSH enabled, he sent the pictured message which led to a demand for a €5 PayPal payment and words of caution:

If you don’t pay, it’s fine by me, but remember, the way I got access to your iPhone can be used by thousands of others-they can send text messages from your number (like I did), use it to call or record your calls, and actually whatever they want, even use it for their hacking activities! I can assure you, I have no intention of harming you or whatever, but, some hackers do! It’s just my advice to secure your phone.

How to prevent any hacker to hijack your iPhone? Simply change the root password!

How to change your iPhone root password:

Step 1: If you haven’t installed MobileTerminal yet, go to Cydia and look for “MobileTerminal” and install the app, then reboot your iPhone.

Step 2: Lanch MobileTerminal and type su and hit return.

Step 3: You will be asked to enter your current password. Your default password is alpine so, type alpine and hit return.

Step 4: You are now inside your iPhone. We are now going to change the root password. Type passwd and hit return. Make sure you type passwd correctly.

Step 5: You will be aske to enter a new password. Type whatever you want for your new password and hit return.

Step 6: You will be asked to enter your new password again. Do that and hit return.

That’s it. You have successfully changed your iPhone root password. Make sure you don’t forget it!

  • Colten

    When would u ever really need this password besides right now? And what does terminal even do why’s it there?

    • Wow, The Terminal Just gives you access to your iPhone…
      But anyone with a Computer can hack your iPhone & that’s why you change the Root’s pass. Maybe you never need it, but it secures your iPhone/iPod/iPad.

  • Sadis Abis

    What a dutchbag.

  • angelodrag

    Thanks Sebastien for the heads up. Just changed mine. Now I feel a little more secure.

  • Changing the password for mobile is good practice also.

  • Seconded, Bryan! You definitely should do this with the ‘mobile’ account also. If another person logs in to your phone as ‘mobile’ then that’s just as big of a problem.

    After step six, type ‘exit’ and hit return. Then, repeat steps three through six. This will change the password for the user ‘mobile’ like you just did for ‘root’.

  • 4lw1n

    After i install and change my root password, can i remove/uninstall mobileterminal from cydia?

  • Egro

    MobileTerminal doesn’t run under 3.1.2

  • Thrill

    Cydia is asking me to re-purchase items after changing password

  • erubiano

    I changed the password succesfully; however, once I finished I typed “exit” and returm…

    I now connot connect my iPhone via wireless….. Why is that..?


  • OSx User

    Why not just keep OpenSSH off or just not install it ? Instead of telling people this you should give the readers this option as well, remember that some people are bad at remembering passwords and if they were to ever forget it they are assed out ! My best advice is not to install Open SSH and if you must have Turn it OFF !

  • Danazman

    MobileTerminal does not work in 3.1.2 as stated… and I also tried to toggle OpenSSH off in SBSettings …. I can still log in…. seems like more work has to be done on apps released prior to 3.1.2 to ensure they are working properly….

    I have tried to use PuTTy with successful password change under ‘ROOT’… but when I tried to change the MOBILE LOGIN password I get and error stating:


    This tells me I am not allowed to change the mobile login for some unknown reason… any work arounds?


  • Slick Nick

    mobile terminal works on my 3.1.2 3GS just fine..i changed my password successfully with no problems

  • tgrisko

    Slick…. thanks for the info…. I have the 3G with 3.1.2 and all I get is a blank screen then returns to the springboard in about 5 secs…. even tried after a reboot… no success……

    any other ideas?

  • Juan

    You only need this if you install OpenSSH. If that’s the case, no need for MobileTerminal. Just connect via SSH to change passwords.

    If you have issues connecting via SSH, use the SBSettings SSH toggle to turn it off. Wait a few seconds, then tap it back on.

    If you don’t need OpenSSH, uninstall it!

  • iPhone Nerd

    Worked like a charm on my 3G running 3.1.2. Thank you for the instructions! 🙂

  • tgrisko

    Thanks for the info…. Juan

    For the record…. 8gb 3g…..

    I can SSH into my phone no problem…. that is why I tried PuTTy first and got the CANNOT CREATE LOCK FILE error on changing the mobile password. I was however able to change the root password without a hitch.

    I hope Im clear….. there are TWO PASSWORDS to change….. the instructions above are for the ROOT password only…..

    in order to fully protect… you must also change the MOBILE LOGIN password as well…. that is the one I have issues trying to change…

  • mlass

    Used Mobile Terminal on 3G 3.1.2 with no issues. Was unlocked with Blackra1n.

  • Ramin

    Thanks alot it worked perfectly on my 3g 3.1.2

  • WPete

    Worked great, just SSHed in to be sure. Thanks to Bryan and George for recommending to change the mobile password also.

    Big up yourself! – Ali G



  • Tgrisko

    Update! I decided to restore my iPhone due to issues with terminal not working. Redid the JB with blackra1n RC3 and terminal is functioning now on my 3g with 3.1.2.

    Options to all:
    1. Change root and mobile passwords
    2. Turn off openSSH

    either one of these will protect the precious way of life for the avid iPhone addicts!!!

  • Ryan

    If you restore via a backup in iTunes, does it keep the password, and such???

    Apple is gay, that’s why they came out with cydia and friends, so windows lovers don’t feel betrayed, and totally anally raped… Again!

  • Tio

    I’m on a pc and installed everything on my previously jailbroken from blackra1n and my phone shows up on my list of network connections but says there is a network cable unplugged please help

  • tgrisko

    @ Ryan,

    iTunes will only restore what apple knows… the original root and mobile passwords… not the ones you created after the JB and unlock.


    What are you trying to do? If you are trying to tether an internet connection via your iPhone… you also need to unlock it to enable the tethering mode for internet USB connection.

  • Techno boy

  • ck

    I have issues running mobile Terminal on 3GS/iOS 401. It launches and shutsdown immly. However i did change my passwd using ssh.
    Is Terminal working for you ?

  • ER1

    ck says: August 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I have issues running mobile Terminal on 3GS/iOS 401. It launches and shutsdown immly. However i did change my passwd using ssh.
    Is Terminal working for you ?

    How did you change the password using openSSH????=/

    My iphone 4 does the same thing, after installing mobile terminal I restarted my device. After launching the app (mobile terminal) it shuts down immediately… ARGGGG!

    HELP PLEASE!!!!!

    send an email with instructions or where I can contact… ;(

  • no0ne

    old thread but rates high on google search for ‘change mobile password’

    as requested above, to change the account on mobile if you get the error ‘Sorry’

    Log in as root
    Enter ‘passwd mobile’
    Enter new password twice


  • Use i-FunBox go too ssh terminal type passwd root and then enter your new password and then re-enter and your good 🙂

  • I know this post is old but is there an actual anti-virus program hack/tweak for you iPhone/iPod Touch via Cydia?

    • Yes, MobiShield Pro.
      Also if you want to clean your iDevice Off of unwanted Files you can use iCleaner. It’s kinda like CCleaner but for the iDevice!