The Sydney Morning Herald has run an interview with Wollongong student, Ashley Towns, the creator of what is being called the world’s first iPhone virus.
Towns’ virus, a worm which runs on jailbroken iPhones, Rick-rolls its targets by changing the background to a picture of Rick Astley.
There is some debate as to whether Towns actually wrote the virus or is a script kiddie who plagarised code placed on the Internet by European hackers only a few weeks ago.
Either way, the code is out there and continues to infect iPhones on the Optus network. With no deadline coded into the virus, and because of the fact that it only operates on jailbroken phones, it looks like the community is going to have to rely on itself without the help of Apple or Optus, to sort this one out.
In response to questions about the virus, Towns said “I didn’t really think about legal consequences at the time. I honestly never expected it to go this far.”
Even so, the SMH published results of a poll run by Sophos in response to the incident, in which it emerged that that 75 per cent of the 721 respondents believed Towns had done “iPhone users a favour”.
Even those who are upset with Towns’ would have to agree they’re lucky that they were alerted to the possibility of their phones being targets of future malicious viruses if they don’t change their passwords, by someone creating something as innocuous as a rick-rolling worm.
There’s no word as to whether NSW Police are planning on charging Towns.