Oh bugger, I’ve been Rickrolled! I was out getting tea and I received a phone call – I spotted Rick’s face which shocked me for a bit, but then remembered reading about the virus which originated in Australia. I guess it crawled fast enough over to my iPhone from there. After doing research and reading several incomplete methods on cleaning up the virus, I’ve put together a comprehensive 2 part article – how to remove it, and how to secure your iPhone from getting infected by it.
If you haven’t heard, your iPhone is very vulnerable to getting hacked if you don’t change the root password that is set for all iPhones. The first worm or virus for the iPhone is rather docile, as it merely changes the wallpaper of your phone. Nonetheless, you don’t know what evil viruses may spring up next.
The default password for iPhones is alpine and a smart hacker can use that common password to their advantage. As such, it is vital that everyone changes the default password.
The Ikee Virus Summarized
- This is the first virus for the iPhone.
- Some Aussie dude named Ashley created this virus as a proof-of-concept (what an ass).
- It only affects jailbroken phones.
- Symptoms: your iPhone wallpaper changes to show a picture of Rick Astley, accompanied by the text Ikee is never gonna give you up.
- There are 4 variants of the Ikee virus as of this moment – all of which can be removed with a bit of effort.
My personal take is that I’m grateful the worm is not malicious and it has been a wake up call for me. I’ve now changed the default password on my iPhone.
Steps to remove the Ikee virus (variant A, B, C & D)
- If you haven’t already installed mobile terminal via Cydia, do so.
- Reboot your iPhone.
- Run mobile terminal, and at the prompt, type su.
- The default password is alpine (unless you’ve already changed it).
- Type in the following commands one line at a time, end press return after each line.
You may get messages such as No such file or directory – but that’s fine, different variants may leave behind different files.
- When you’re done, reboot your iPhone.
- Now, change your wallpaper to something cool. You should be free of Rick’s ghost now.
- Follow the steps below to prevent getting hacked again.
Steps to change your iPhone root password (and minimize being hacked)
- Start mobile terminal (download and install via Cydia if you haven’t done so yet).
- Type su.
- Enter alpine as the password.
- At the prompt, type passwd.
- Enter your new root password. DO NOT FORGET THIS!
- Enter the same password again.
- You should now be secure from viruses that use the default password to hack into your phone.