Tuesday, November 10, 2009

iPhone fear as 'Rick Astley' worm spreads

SYDNEY — 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.

"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. AFP

No comments:

Post a Comment