Aussie Worm Rickrolls Jailbroken iPhones
A programmer in Australia has created a worm that changes the lockscreen
of infected phones to a picture of 80s singer Rick Astley. Like the recent Dutch "hack
" that replaced users' wallpaper with a demand for money, this worm accesses jailbroken iPhones that are running OpenSSH and are still using the default root password.
The worm was written by someone who goes by the name of ikee. It works by scanning the IP range of the 3G network the phone is on, then the address ranges of carriers Optus, Vodafone and Telstra, until it finds a running SSH service. The worm then replaces the lockscreen with an image of Rick Astley along with the words "ikee is never going to give you up," deletes the SSH daemon, and begins scanning for another vulnerable phone. ikee noted that his own phone had infected more than a hundred other phones, and there have been suggestions, as yet unconfirmed, that the worm may have spread beyond Australia.
A blogger posted the transcript of an IRC chat with ikee
, in which he explained that he wrote the worm because he "was curious to how far something like this would actually spread." He says that it "was all in good fun (well ok for me anyway)." The blogger also posted the source code
of the virus.
There's no real justification for hacking somebody's phone. It's to be hoped, though, that the increasing frequency of default-password "hacks" highlights the importance of changing your root password and not running ssh when it's not needed.
image via JD's Thoughts on Everything