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Rickrolling iPhone worm is never gonna give you up
9 November 2009
Well, this hacker has quite the sense of humor.
Reports started spreading this weekend that iPhone users in Australia had been falling victim
to "ikee," a worm that replaces default wallpaper with a picture of Rick Astley, the British
pop singer whose song "Never Gonna Give You Up" has gained eternal infamy thanks to the mainstreaming
of the "Rickrolling" prank craze. The photo is accompanied by the message "ikee is never gonna give you up,"
and it's apparently quite difficult to remove. According to security firm Sophos, this is the first
worm detected that targets the iPhone.
The vulnerability is pretty specific: the phones must be jailbroken in order to be affected, and it
appears to spread by searching an infected phone's contacts to find other jailbroken-phone users who
have installed the Unix software SSH (secure shell) but haven't yet changed their passwords from Apple's
default root password, "alpine."
Sophos says that it has not heard of any occurrences of the worm outside Australia, and that while it
doesn't appear to do anything worse than irritate and embarrass affected users, that it highlights the
vulnerabilities that jailbroken phones face.