Red Flag over Rick Astley iPhone Virus

OK, a computer virus is not the usual type of “infectious disease” that we blog about at Celebrity Diagnosis, but anyway….

An Australian student, 21 year-old Ashley Towns, has created a worm that infects Apple’s iPhone with pictures of 1980s pop star Rick Astley best known for his 1987 chart-topper “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

“The virus itself is not malicious and is not out to hurt people. It’s just poking fun and hopefully waking people up a little,” Towns said. By “waking people up,’ Towns was referring to the fact that many people don’t change their passwords after they jail-break their phone (that is, modify the iPhone’s software to install applications that are not sanctioned by Apple).

Even though this virus is not malicious, it demonstrates that the iPhone is susceptible to hacking and raises fears that others will develop malicious software that spreads from phone to phone over wireless networks.

Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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