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Aussie iPhones Attacked by Virus

  • 09 November, 2009 16:30

<p>Australian iPhone users have this weekend been under attack from the first-ever iPhone virus seen in the wild. The virus, called "Ikee", targets users of jailbroken iPhones who have the SSH remote access software installed.</p>
<p>The "Ikee" virus changes your background picture to an image of 1980s singer Rick Astley before instructing your iPhone to scan through various Aussie 3G networks, trying to login to other users' iPhones and infect them. These attempted logins -- even if they are unsuccessful -- generate network traffic, all at your expense.</p>
<p>Jailbreaking means using specially-crafted software to liberate your iPhone from many of the restrictions imposed by Apple. You can then install applications which can't be used on an unjailbroken iPhone. However, jailbreaking comes with numerous risks, including that you might activate software which makes it all-to-easy for unauthorised outsiders to get into your phone.</p>
<p>Paul Ducklin, Sophos's Head of Technology, Asia Pacific, urges iPhones users, "If you've jailbroken your iPhone and are running SSH, change all your iPhone operating system passwords immediately. Apple's default passwords are widely known, including to the author of this virus. If you change from the defaults, the virus can't get in."</p>
<p>Postings on Twitter and in the Whirlpool forum suggest that the Ikee virus was written by a 21-year-old from Wollongong in New South Wales. At this stage, the virus seems to be confined to Australia, though there are unconfirmed reports of Ikee in Thailand and Japan.</p>
<p>A Dutch hacker was also recently found hacking into jailbroken phones via the known SSH password to inject a message asking for 5 Euros to tell you how to secure your iPhone against further attacks.</p>

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