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What The iPhone Hackers Have Found

If you want to know what makes the iPhone tick, thank the hackers who’ve been working tirelessly to discover its secrets. DVD Jon has already posted a workaround to the AT&T activation, which means the device can work – just not as a phone.   But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Far more important are two more discoveries by others, the root password for the phone and the password for the mobile user account.   The iPhone root password is “Alpine,” and the mobile user account is “Dottie.”   And, in dissecting the phone, hackers have laid bare the CPU, which is an ARM architecture, unlike previous systems used by Apple.   As hackers of all stripes discover more about the iPhone, and the handset becomes more commonplace, it’s very likely that the number of viruses written to affect it will grow. And as phone become more sophisticated and like mini computers – like the iPhone – they’re more likely to be hit, rather than the relatively crude older cell phones. In other words, the phone’s popularity could become its problem.   “It is why there are so many more viruses targeting Windows, after all, than the Mac,” Mark Sunner, chief security analyst at MessageLabs, told E-Commerce Times. “It is quite telling that now that the iPod generation has come into the workforce, the number of threats against Mac OS X is increasing.”   Still, for now analysts seem to agree the the iPhone is more secure than most smartphones on the market. However, if you own one, expect the malware to appear, and probably sooner, rather than later.