Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business


iPhone fears as ‘Rick Astley’ worm spreads

November 11, 2009 – An Australian student sparked fears of a new era of computer viruses on Tuesday after creating a worm which infects Apple’s iconic iPhone with pictures of 1980s pop star Rick Astley.

Ashley Towns, 21, who lives with his family near Sydney, said he was trying to raise security awareness with his cheeky but harmless “Ikee” worm, which spreads from phone to phone along wireless networks.

IPHONE_PAD_732101912.jpg“This virus pretty much exploits people’s laziness to change their password,” he said, according to public broadcaster ABC.

“Somebody with more malicious intent could have done anything — read your SMSs, go through your emails, view your contacts, photos — anything,” he added.

The virus swaps the smartphone’s wallpaper with an image of Astley and the words “Ikee is never gonna give you up” — a reference to the British star Astley’s 1987 chart-topper: “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

It affects only phones that have been modified, or jail-broken, to install applications not approved by manufacturer Apple, and can easily be deleted.

But experts warned Towns, among the first in the world to hack into the popular iPhone, may have caught the attention of cyber-criminals wanting to steal personal information such as bank details.

“We would view this as a very serious development,” Peter Coroneos, chief executive of Australia’s Internet Industry Association, told AFP.

“This should raise awareness of viruses and that people should not regard cellphones as being any more secure than computers.”

Towns, a technical college student now reportedly the target for work at software firms, said he had proved it was not hard to hack into an iPhone and was not aware if he had broken any laws.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The worm taps into the popular “Rickrolling” Internet phenomenon, where clicks on booby-trapped web links take unwitting users to video footage of Astley performing “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

“The virus itself is not malicious and is not out to hurt people. It’s just poking fun and hopefully waking people up a little,” Towns said.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...