First iPhone worm discovered

Sophos reports that some Apple iPhone owners in Australia have seen their smartphones get infected by a worm that has changed their wallpaper to an image of 1980s pop musician Rick Astley.

The worm, which could have spread to other countries, is capable of breaking into jailbroken iPhones if their owners have not changed the default password after installing SSH. Once in place, the worm appears to attempt to find other iPhones on the mobile phone network that are similarly vulnerable, and installs itself again.

On each installation, the worm – written by a hacker calling themselves “ikee” – changes the lock background wallpaper to an image of Rick Astley with the message:

ikee is never going to give you up

Graham Cluley comments on his popular blog at Sophos:

What’s clear is that if you have jailbroken your iPhone or iPod Touch, and installed SSH, then you must always change your root user password to something different than the default, “alpine”. In fact, it would be a good idea if you didn’t use a dictionary word at all. The worm will not affect users who have not jailbroken their iPhones or who have not installed SSH.

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