Sorry, Australian iPhone Users: You've Been Rickrolled

By Eliza Strickland | November 9, 2009 11:34 am

iphoneThe first worm to infect iPhones is squirming through phones in Australia, spreading the face of the 1980s pop singer Rick Astley throughout the land. On infected phones, the wallpaper changes to a glamor shot of Astley, with a line of type that declares “Ikee is never going to give you up.”

As savvy internet users know, the iPhone has just been Rickrolled. For several years, the bait-and-switch trick has caused internet users to click on a link that looks relevant or promising, only to be led to Astley’s 1987 video, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

However, only iPhone users who have ‘jailbroken’ their phones will be affected by the worm. Jailbreaking an iPhone involves running a program that circumvents the official Apple operating system and allows users to run software on their phone that has not been approved by Apple [Telegraph]. The worm preys specifically on iPhone users who haven’t changed their default passwords on an application called secure shell (SSH), which allows file transfers between smart phones.

The iPhone worm doesn’t appear to be a malicious or criminal act. Instead, it seems to be half warning, half prank. Ikee’s author, who identifies himself or herself as “ikex” in the worm’s source code, also wrote in the code that “People are stupid, and this is to prove it so,” adding that users should read their phones’ manuals.”It’s not that hard, guys,” ikex writes. “But hey who cares its only your bank details at stake” [ Forbes].

The worm’s creator was later identified as 21-year-old Ashley Towns, a programmer who lives near Sydney; no word yet on whether Towns will face any repercussions for his trick.

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Image: flickr / William Hook

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology
MORE ABOUT: hackers, iPhone
  • Section 8

    Aussis just got pwned.

  • Alice

    Your headline should read: “Only *JAILBROKEN* phones get virus”.

    If you don’t illegally jailbreak your phone… you will NEVER get this virus.

    Why do so many of the articles here have VERY misleading headlines… and then buried
    deeply in the text… you’ll see that only jailbroken phones are affected?

  • cool

    dude. he should have done it to apples regular phones. that would be cool.

  • Art

    @ Alice:

    The author wants us to read the story, not just the headline. If the title contained all the key information, it would be as long as an article it replaced.

  • Angie

    Apple had a worm. Hehehe

  • morgan

    lesson don’t use your bank account on iphone

  • http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/profile/Willguzmaneaea/ Bhawna Tank

    When I saw your blog was like wow. Thank you for putting your effort in writing this article. Conversion Prophet Review

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