How to Change the iPhone’s Root Password in 10 Steps

This is a Guest Post  by Benjamin Foo a.k.a Ben

So you have recently jailbroken your iPhone and are very likely to be enjoying the world of Cydia. There are loads of things to explore, but you would need to have certain repos (short for repositories, kind of like libraries) installed in Cydia to be able to fully enjoy what it has to offer.

Some notable apps include SBSettings, MxTube and Winterboard (loads of themes!). These free apps introduce a world of features not normally available on unjailbroken iPhones.

But wait! What about security? You probably have read about jailbroken iPhones being hacked and are wondering how to prevent that from happening to your own iPhone. If you use SSH (Secure Shell) regularly, read on.

Let’s begin with a brief history about SSH. The SSH service allows users to transfer files between iPhones and computers wirelessly. The problem is, when SSH is run, it has to be able to login to the iPhone and presently, all iPhones use the same default root password (“alpine”). This is clearly dangerous as your personal data could fall into the wrong hands should a hacker be able to SSH into your iPhone.

The solution is to change your root password. There are multiple ways to do it, e.g., from Windows, Mac OS or within the iPhone itself. Follow the instructions on how to change the root password on your iPhone from a Windows PC.

Step 1: Download Putty, a free SSH client.

Step 2: Identify your iPhone’s IP address by going to Settings -> Wi-Fi -> and clicking the blue arrow icon on the network you are connected to.

Step 3:
Open Putty and type in the IP address (from Step 2), Port 22 and choose SSH as connection type. Click Open.

Step 4: At the “login as” prompt, type root and press Enter.
At the password prompt, type alpine and press Enter. (Note: when you enter alpine, the letters will be blanked out)

Step 5: At the root# prompt, type passwd

Step 6: Enter your new pre-determined password twice. (Note: when you enter your passwords, the letters will be blanked out)

Step 7: At the root# prompt, enter login mobile.

Step 8: At the password prompt, enter alpine. (Note: when you enter alpine, the letters will be blanked out).

Step 9: At the mobile$ prompt, type passwd.

Step 10:
Enter old password as alpine and enter your new pre-determined password twice. (Note: when you enter your passwords, the letters will be blanked out)

The process is now complete. For those who use SSH a lot, these 10 steps are certainly crucial in securing your jailbroken iPhone. Even for those who don’t use SSH, these steps are important as you would not know what other SSH exploits hackers could come up with.

I will discuss about the SSH toggles and how to turn them on/off in next week’s article. Till then, have a good week!

About The Author
Ben is an avid fan of Apple ever since the 3GS was invented. He enjoys reading tech news, gaming on his PS3 and iPhone 4. Ben marvels at the iPhone for its innovative and creative applications, providing limitless capabilities and functionalities that has changed the way he consumes information and connects to his loved ones.