Is Mobile Rickrolling the First Step in an iPhone Virus Outbreak?


The first iPhone worm is spreading around Australia, changing users’ wallpaper to a picture of ’80s pop star Rick Astley, the mobile version of getting Rickrolled. It’s mostly harmless, but is it a signal that virus makers will soon worm their way into your iPhone?

Not if you play by Apple’s rules. The worm only affects jail-broken iPhones–those whose users have set their phones to run unauthorized software such as tethering programs or hacks that allow them to customize settings and download apps from third-party app stores such as Cydia or Rock Your Phone.

The BBC reported Monday morning that the worm’s creator, 21-year-old Australian Ashley Towns made the bug to raise the issue of security. He’s clearly not a fan of jailbreaking, and in the source code, Towns wrote: “People are stupid and this is to prove it.”

It’s estimated that no more than 10% of iPhones and iPod Touch are jail-broken in the U.S. and U.K., but the introduction of this worm (called ikee) has raised concerns that more harmful attacks could be on the way. But for the time being, having to stare at Rick Astley’s face remains the biggest security threat to iPhone users.SS