Change your jailbroken iPhone SSH password with MobileTerminal

iphone-ssh-pasword-changeThere’s an iPhone infection going around, so we thought it would be a good idea to post a quick “How-to” guide for changing your jailbroken iPhone’s SSH password. Unlike the Swine Flu, no amount of hand-washing or coughing into the bend in your arm is going to prevent your jailbroken iPhone from contracting a malicious infection. On the plus-side, changing the default password on your jailbroken iPhone should inoculate your handset from current iPhone worms.

If you’re using a jailbroken iPhone, iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, and you’ve messed around with SSH before, we highly recommend you change your SSH password.

Here’s how:

  1. Since you’re jailbroken, you have Cydia installed on your iPhone. Fire up Cydia.
  2. Find the “MobileTerminal” app and install it.
  3. Fire up the “MobileTerminal” app from your homescreen.
  4. Type in the command “su root” and hit enter (without quotes).
  5. When prompted for your password, type in “alpine” and hit enter.
  6. Type in the command “passwd” and hit enter.
  7. You’ll be prompted for a new password. Enter something you’re likely to remember. Seriously, don’t put down something obscure that you’ll forget – that might come back to bite you later on.
  8. Repeat your new password.
  9. That’s it! You are now protected from all current SSH backdoor security threats.

The entire process takes maybe a minute, depending on how long it takes for you to download/install MobileTerminal and how long it takes you to type in the above commands. There’s really no excuse for not changing your password.

  • TJ Draper

    Unfortunately, when I tried to change my root password about a month ago, it bricked my iPhone… Oh, not right away. But when I rebooted the phone I was in for a nasty shock. It went into an eternal loop in which the Apple logo appeared for 5 minutes or so, then the screen would go black, then the Apple logo would appear again for 5 minutes or so… and on an on.

    Fortunately, I had backed up the phone in iTunes recently, and putting the iPhone in recovery mode and restoring with my custom IPSW made everything all right again.

    My solution has been to keep openSSH off my iPhone.

    • iMark

      Then your phone wasn't bricked. (idiot)

      Open SSH wasn't what caused this. What happened is that you put a bunch of hacked apps on your phone with SSH and fvcked up springboard. If it takes more than x number of seconds to enumerate your apps then the phone reboots, and voila, … there is your endless loop.

      SSH did not fvck up your phone, …. YOU did. I would recommend that you not only leave SSH off your phone, but maybe leave Cydia off too. (or at least until you educate yourself a bit first)

    • W4rr10rPrime

      We need more info to help with that…
      Did you jailbreak it with blackra1n?
      Was it a 3.1.2 iOS?

      With blackra1n, the 3.1.2 kailbreaks require you to plug the idevice back into the computer, and run the program again… Nothing will be wiped. I can’t really think of anything else that would cause it to do that, other than whY iMark said, although I do think hales giving you lore credit than you deserve. I doubt you got hack apps, maybe some sort of instability with the restart.

  • William

    This would be great if MobileTerminal worked on the 3.x software. As of now, it is not supported.

    • Joseph

      I use an iPod touch 1G 8gb and mobile terminal worked fine. I followed the instructions that were posted in Cydia, though.

    • GK

      I just changed the root password on mine and my wife’s iphone. And we’re both running fw 3.1.2 on an iPhone 3G. I hope you find another way to change your password.

  • Domo

    What if you forgot the Password. What do you do?

  • GK

    I forgot to add that I was using MobileTerminal.app

  • Omar

    I can’t type the default password “alpine” into the code! the keyboard just doesn’t let me type anthing in when I get to that stage ? what should I do now ?

    • Jonas

      its ok , just that the pass is not showed while you type it, but is there just type alpine and enter

    • iMark

      God damn it! Is everyone stupid????

      type your password. the characters won't show up because it's a password.

      Here's some more advise. READ READ READ and stop posting stupid questions.

  • ninjaboy837

    A piece of advice: as threats become more serious, I think it is essential that people also change their password for the ‘mobile’ account. There’s now a very malicious piece of malware stealing people’s money, and the mobile account is just as vulnerable as the root account and it holds ALL your data! It has the same password as ‘root’, and I think it will be a very short while before a criminal hacker will start to use that hole.

    start mobile terminal
    type su mobile
    password is alpine same as root (it will not show you typing but you are)
    type passwd
    type old password alpine (it will not show you typing but you are)
    type new password (it will not show you typing but you are)
    retype new password (it will not show you typing but you are)

  • guest

    Can anyone explain this in laymen's terms?

  • kkkk

    if u dont understand this , there is no point in jailbreaking your iphone..

  • W4rr10rPrime

    I agree with IMark, and KKKK completely, it doesn’t take half a hemisphere to fuckng read up on this stuff, and trut me…. It’s everywhere. The thing that conerns me is… The commands are not dificult at all. Someone who neither takes the time, nor the effort to learn more by simply searching… In my opinion, isnt worth my time.

  • Charlie

    My itouch 2G will not let me run mobile terminal. I installed it but it keeps shutting down immediately after I open it. What can I do to help this?

  • guest

    thanks ninjaboy837, changing the root password wasn’t a problem but I was having issues with the mobile password.  Great step by step. thanks again. Mark, have a little patience. Not everyone is a genius and sometimes the learning curve is a little larger for some people

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