So a strange development took place on Sunday–a Dutch hacker is currently holding what amounts to several jailbreaked Apple iPhones.

Just in case you’re wondering about the terminology here, a jailbroken phone is basically a hacked iPhone that allows you to install software from other sources besides Apple’s App Store.  The need for jailbreaking has fallen off somewhat in recent days, but there are still plenty of phones out there already that have been jailbroken.

But when you jailbreak an Apple iPhone, you force the resetting of a password that controls remote access to the general password coded in at the factory level.  Now, if you’re smart, you’ll quickly change that password to something you know well.  But a lot of people either got lazy or busy or just plain forgot, because they left their iPhones in the ORIGINAL PASSWORD SETTING.

And that’s where the Dutch hacker swung in.  He changed the passwords, effectively locking people out of their own phones until they pay him a ransom of five euros via PayPal.  Meanwhile, Apple considers jailbroken phones to have voided their warranties, so it’s pretty much either pay off the hacker or lose your phone until he’s arrested and forced to confess.

So if you’ve got a jailbroken Apple, you may want to switch that password around before the Dutch hacker gets you…if he hasn’t already.