Rick Astley

English pop star Rick Astley has given us so many hits, "When I Fall In Love", "Together Forever", and of course, "Never Gonna Give You Up", the 1987 track that's now synonymous with the art of Rick Rolling.

If your employees can be Rick Rolled,
they need security awareness (anti-phishing) training

Hopefully, most of you know about Rick Rolling, but just in case.

What is a Rick Roll?

In short: It's an internet ‘Bait and switch’ prank, which has been doing the rounds since 2007.

To successfully Rick Roll somebody, you simply embed a link in your blog, What’sApp message, or in an email, or in a tweet. The link must purport to be about any subject (anything really – a family picture, work report, breaking news), but actually directs you to Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up" (bonus points for the original music video).

Rick Rolling itself has evolved in a number of ways (none of these links are Rick Rolls – I promise)

    • YouTube - On April 1, 2008, YouTube itself changed every video link on its homepage into a Rick Roll


    • YouTube Karma - What goes around . . . when YouTube asked on Twitter what users “We want to know: this year, what videos did you watch on repeat?” User @edma06RBLX replied “This one about the cute puppy” with a link and thumbnail of a cute Labrador – but where did it lead to . . . ?


    • Emergency Warning - Ethical security researchers submitted a proof of concept on how to take over municipal Emergency Alert systems, using just a laptop and $30 FM radio transmitter. Their video showed how a hacker could take advantage of this flaw, making sirens play Rick Astley's “Never Gonna Give You Up”.


  • Rick Astley himself - Rick has been Rick Rolled on several occasions, most recently while posting old photos on Reddit. User TheMalleableDuck claimed they had met Astley backstage when they were 12 and posted a link claiming to be a photo of the two of them . . . .

From Pop . . . to Pop Culture

As well as appearing in the XKCD Webcomic, Peter Griffin from Family Guy was warned about the danger of watching Japanese horror flick ‘The Ring’ on VHS and was Rick Rolled, in the end credits of Wreck IT Ralph 2 where a supposed sneak peek of Frozen 2 leads to Ralph singing “Never Gonna Give You Up”. You never know where a click will take you .

Remastered Rick-Rolling

While the classic video is musically timeless, the 1987 video was looking distinctly fuzzy and low-res, so earlier this year YouTuber Revideo remastered NGGYU in 4K at 60fps for ultimate clarity of ‘bait & switch’. Gaining 1.3 million hits in the last 5 months.

What’s it all worth?

Rick Astley’s official YouTube channel has 2.24 Million followers, includes 93 videos, and has combined views of 1.64 Billion – of which “Never Gonna Give You Up” has 978 Million (60%)

The amount earned per 1 million views varies, but if assuming between $3,400 and $40,000, leaves Rick between $550K & a cool $6.5M from YouTube ad revenue - and who can deny he hasn’t earned it #NicestGuyInPop

How does this impact your business?

The fact that your employees can still fall for this classic ‘bait and switch’ is a serious warning for your network security.

For more insight - watch this "7 critical actions to stop ransomware hitting your business" video

Hackers constantly look for methods of attack, often spoofing messages from trusted sources promising expected information. If your employees can be Rick-Rolled, they can just as easily be tricked into clicking other more malicious links.

Request your Free Employee Security Awareness Training assessment now, visit https://itgenie.com/security-awareness/ or call us on 0345 0945 353