Threat Descriptons



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Worm:iPhoneOS/Ikee is the first worm to target the Apple iPhone. Its most notable action involves changing the background wallpaper on the device.


Based on the settings of your F-Secure security product, it will either move the file to the quarantine where it cannot spread or cause harm, or remove it.

A False Positive is when a file is incorrectly detected as harmful, usually because its code or behavior resembles known harmful programs. A False Positive will usually be fixed in a subsequent database update without any action needed on your part. If you wish, you may also:

  • Check for the latest database updates

    First check if your F-Secure security program is using the latest updates, then try scanning the file again.

  • Submit a sample

    After checking, if you still believe the file is incorrectly detected, you can submit a sample of it for re-analysis.

    Note: If the file was moved to quarantine, you need to collect the file from quarantine before you can submit it.

  • Exclude a file from further scanning

    If you are certain that the file is safe and want to continue using it, you can exclude it from further scanning by the F-Secure security product.

    Note: You need administrative rights to change the settings.

Technical Details

The details below are for the A variant of the Ikee worm. It was first reported by iPhone users in Australia and appears to have been written a hacker named 'ikex'.

Though this variant is non-malicious, it is still considered of interest as it is possible for another hacker to use code from this variant and adapt it to carry a more sinister payload - as subsequently happened with the Worm:iPhoneOs/Ikee.B outbreak.

In addition, accessing a user's computing device and changing their data without permission is illegal in many countries.


Ikee is only able to infect an iPhone if:

  • The device is 'jailbroken' - hacked by the user in order to install software that hasn't been approved by Apple
  • AND an unapproved Secured Shell (SSH) application, which allows remote access to the device, has been installed
  • AND the default SSH password for the 'root' user has not been changed from the factory default ('alpine')

Users who have not jailbroken their iPhones, do have have an SSH application installed, or have changed the default SSH password are not affected.


While active, the worm changes the background wallpaper displayed when the iPhone is locked to an image of 1980's pop star Rick Astley. It also displays the message: "ikee is never going to give you up".

The act of covertly using Astley's image in this manner is a known Internet meme, and a user who has been unintentionally subjected to it is said to have been 'Rickrolled'.


Once in place, the worm appears to attempt to find other iPhones on the mobile phone network that are similarly vulnerable. If found, the worm installs itself on the new device.

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