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First iPhone Worm Rickrolls Jailbroken iPhones

It has been discovered that the first iPhone worm is rickrolling jailbroken phones, most notably across Australia. IPhone users have been expecting an incident such as this one ever since the hacking of iPhone wallpapers in the Netherlands earlier this month. Jailbroken phones, those, which have been adapted to run unofficial code in order to circumvent Apple's App store, are able to download applications available through other sources. Potentially up to 10 % of iPhones in circulation may be jail broken according to Jay Freeman, the founder of Cydia. Researchers agree that the process of jailbreaking decreases the security of the iPhone, leaving jailbroken phones at increased risk of hacking and worms.

Rickrolling is a phenomenon previously seen in email exchanges and fatuous blog posts, in which the expected content belies a link to the Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Several well-known incidents of rickrolling have occurred in the past two years: during the Eastern Washington University women's basketball games in March 2008; on several political blogs under posts that alleged racism on the part of First Lady Michelle Obama; and on Facebook and PayPal on the part of security expert Dan Kaminsky in order to point out troublesome vulnerabilities.


The iPhone worm rickrolls involves the wallpaper of the phone changing to a picture of Astley accompanied by the text “ikee is never going to give you up.” Responsibility for the event has been claimed by a hacker known as “ikex,” and cast as a harmless prank that reveals security risks for jailbroken phones. IPhone user in Australia who kept the default SSH password for their phones have been the only ones affected. Numerous experts have detailed how to change the password on their websites. While the first iPhone worm to rickrolls jailbroken phones is not the first security flaw to emerge with the iPhone it may become the most high profile warning for vigilance concerning phone security.