iPhone virus puts a sinister twist on 80s pop icons

The world’s first iPhone virus has been released in Australia this week, and it is expected to cause a storm by combining the misery of corrupted registry files with that of mainstream music from the 1980s.

The “Ikee” virus usually manifests itself by changing the user’s wallpaper to an image of a 1980s pop star together with one of the artist’s lyrics quoted out of context so as to convey a more sinister meaning. It then jams the iPhone and forces it to download that artist’s entire back catalogue over and over again until the memory is full, at which point it continually plays their music on a loop at full volume until the battery drains completely.

Peter Ian, an iPhone user from New South Wales, was unfortunate enough to contract the Rick Astley Virus: “I couldn’t believe it. Suddenly my background had a picture of Rick Astley on it, which was pretty weird. Then it came up with a message saying ‘Ikee is never gonna give you up’ and jammed. I couldn’t switch it off or anything. Next thing I know it started going ‘Ooooooo….give up you up! [never gonna give, never gonna give] ooooooo … give you up!’ really loud. I had to take the battery out to stop it in the end as it was driving me round the bend. I’m gonna have to give this phone up, I reckon.”

Mitchell Watson, a user from Western Australia, was also affected by the Ikee virus: “I contracted the Tony Hadley strain of the virus and pretty soon my phone jammed completely. All that showed on the screen was Hadley’s face with a tagline below it that said ‘Your (sic) [phone’s not] indestructible! Always believe it…’ and it’s never worked since. I’m gonna have to buy a new one, I reckon.”

The virus also plays on 80s iconography, as Sydney-based user Tim Peters discovered: “Mine froze up showing a background picture of one those Frankie Goes To Hollywood t-shirts with the slogan ‘Frankie Says … Your Phone’s Fucked’. That was a pretty clear message, I reckon. Mate of mine got the Ultravox virus yesterday – he was pretty freaked out. Next thing he knew he had a photo of Midge Ure slapped across his screen with a line underneath saying ‘[your phone] means nothing to me!’ – we both needed a couple of beers after that one, I reckon.”

Graham Cluley, a spokesman for security firm Sophos said: “This is a major wake-up call for iPhone users across the world. Nobody is safe anymore. I would urge everyone who uses an iPhone not to unlock them under any circumstances, as this can act as a gateway for the far more serious ‘Dollar Virus’ which has been known to access the user’s bank account whilst playing the song ‘Give Me Back My Heart’ and displaying a wallpaper of David Van Day’s face. I would recommend that users change their settings regularly and install a reliable antivirus system, such as Sophos, to safeguard against anything like this happening in future.”


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