Modified iPhones Are Compromised By New Worm

Nov 25, 2009 by John Messina weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Several research security firms have reported a new worm attack against jail broken iPhones, dubbed "Ikee.B or "Duh", this worm searches for personal and banking information.

The worm spreads by using the default password for applications that can be installed on jail broken . Once the iPhone is infected, the worm grabs text messages and searches for banking authorization codes used for at least one bank. The codes are then sent to a central server located in Lithuania.

With cybercriminals becoming savvier, it's only a matter of time before they find ways to infect iPhones that are not jail broken as well as other smartphone devices. Some researchers confirm that worm attacks against are evolving and it's becoming more common for cybercriminals to target personal and financial information stored on portable devices.

Researchers have confirmed that even Bluetooth connections between portable devices can be compromised with malicious code. A Bluetooth outbreak can be easily carried out in shopping malls, airports, or libraries, anywhere a cybercriminal may find potential victims.

The new worm easily infects jail broken iPhones by a weakness introduced into an application called OpenSSH. The application uses the default password 'alpine' that the worm uses to connect to the iPhone remotely. Since there is no shell code and no buffer overflow compromising the iPhone, writing code is fairly simple.

The attacks that have target iPhones this past month, focused on jail broken phones only. In the process of jail breaking a phone, the code that prevents users from loading any application they want is removed, thereby also removing most of the security that prevents from running on the smartphone.

With the evolution of hacking into portable devices growing, it's only a matter of time before phones employing Google's , and everything else will be compromised in one way or another.

More information: iPhone worm Rickrolls Australia

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

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User comments : 1

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Inco
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2009
Its hardly OpenSSH that have a weakness. Looks more like installation bundle takes a few shortcuts.
Regarding Android, yes it is likely it will get worms/viruses in the future though not the same quantity of them.
The reasons for rooting an Android phone is quite small. And applications don't run with full privileges. For iPhone, metasploit.com have for a long time pointed out weaknesses in the security model of the phone. Its security by only allowing Apple to install programs, and just hope those programs don't have flaws.