A 21-year-old unemployed programmer from Wollongong is alleged to have released a worm that is infecting some iPhones in Australia. It’s believed to be the first worm written for the popular Apple smartphone.
The worm, known as Ikee, is only a threat to users who have jailbroken their phones to let them run unauthorised software, security experts say. It changes the victim’s wallpaper to a photograph of 1980s singer Rick Astley and then seeks out other phones to infect.
Tricking people into playing a video or looking at a photo of Rick Astley – best known for his hit Never Gonna Give You Up – is a popular Internet prank called Rickrolling.
While this is pretty harmless, Sophos security consultant Graham Cluley warns that it could be modified by others to do something more dangerous such as stealing sensitive information from the iPhone.
According to a Computerworld report, the worm was written by 21-year-old unemployed programmer Ashley Towns. “It was supposed to be a small prank – I definitely wasn’t expecting it to get as far as it did,” he reportedly said. Towns added that he simply wanted to make the point that people should change their default iPhone passwords.