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First iPhone Worm Is “Rickrolling” In The Wild

A number of iPhone users in Australia have been reporting a strange kind of worm attack on their iPhones which involves replacing their existing wallpapers with that of the image of a famous British pop-star of the 80s Rick Astley.

The attack, which has billed as the world’s first such attack on the iPhone in the wild, aimed at jailbroken iPhones that include SSH software installed, and have the company’s default root password “alpine”.

Along with an impressive image of Astley that’s showing problems in removing, the reported wallpaper is showing a message “ikee is never going to give you up”, apparently taken from Astley’s 1987 smash hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

Tricking users into unknowingly playing the famous song from Astley has become a trendy prank referred to as “Rickrolling”.

As per a review of some of the source code of the malware showing the image, the malicious application explores the mobile phone network to find out other vulnerable iPhones, and as soon as it finds one, it copies itself onto that phone via the default password and SSH.

Security firm Sophos noted that it hasn’t heard of the impacts of the reported worm outside Australia, and that the worm hasn’t caused any physical damages to the affected phones so far.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.