New Rick Astley Virus Infecting iPhone

A young Australian web designer has become the first person to create a virus for Apple's wildly popular iPhone.

The worm, known as Ikee, changes the device's wallpaper to a picture of '80s singer Rick Astley with the words "Ikee is never gonna give you up" — a reference to Astley's biggest chart hit — before trying to spread to other devices.

Several Australian users were affected, according to Internet security company Sophos. It has not spread beyond Australia.

Ikee can infect only iPhones that have been unlocked or "jailbroken" – a practice that gives users the freedom to access the device remotely, share files and use with any SIM card.

IPhones purchased through regular channels on a plan with an authorized SIM are not at risk. The virus is not destructive and does not compromise any data contained on the iPhone.

Ikee is the work of 21-year-old Sydney web designer and hobby programmer Ashley Towns, who revealed himself as the worm's author on Twitter under the name Ikeeex.

Mr Towns said he created the Ikee virus to create awareness about having a secure password to protect your personal information.

"It's so simple to just change your password — it takes about 10 seconds maybe even less — and would protect all of your phone's personal data, SMSes, emails, address book, everything," he said.