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Worm author given iPhone dev job

Worm author given iPhone dev job

Mogeneration - an Australian iPhone development house - has added malware creator Ashley Towns to its development team.

The man credited with the creation of the first iPhone worm to be successful in the wild - albeit only on jailbroken handsets with default SSH passwords - has been offered a job by an iPhone software house.

As reported by iTWire, the man largely thought responsible for the Ikee worm - which started as a bit of Rickrolling but soon got used for ransom demands and even bank theft and botnet membership - Ashley Towns, a New South Wales resident, has been hired as an iPhone application developer by Australian software house mogeneration.

Mogeneration, which describes itself as "Australia's leading iPhone development company" and actually offered advice about the Ikee worm, hasn't yet commented on the hiring of a worm creator, but it's not unheard of for those who have demonstrated their skills with the development of malicious applications to find themselves working on the other side of the fence - often for security companies who believe in the old saw about setting a thief to catch a thief.

Members of the security community are, predictably, annoyed at what many see as rewarding bad behaviour. Graham Cluley of anti-virus vendor Sophos stated that "it jars with me that Towns has shown no regret for what he did, and that now his utterly irresponsible behaviour appears to have been rewarded" with the posting, and pointed out that "there are plenty of young coders out there who would not have acted so stupidly, are just as worthy of an opportunity inside a software development company, and are actually quite likely to be better coders than Towns who made a series of blunders with his code."

So far mogeneration has made no announcement as to the employment of a known worm creator, nor has it indicated what projects he will be working on - although there would be a certain sense of irony if his first task was to create an anti-worm program for the iPhone.

Do you believe that crackers and VXers should be hired and legitimised, or once you've crossed the line into malicious coding are you forever tainted? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

13 Comments

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crazyceo 27th November 2009, 11:24 Quote
Hopefully he was asked to return all the illegal funds he has amassed with his skills.
badders 27th November 2009, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Hopefully he was asked to return all the illegal funds he has amassed with his skills.

I don't think Rick Astley Paid him anything :|
Jumeira_Johnny 27th November 2009, 11:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Hopefully he was asked to return all the illegal funds he has amassed with his skills.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
which was later used by others to extort money and steal banking details
flibblesan 27th November 2009, 11:51 Quote
Erm, the phones had an open SSH server running with a default password. Anybody could have got in and caused trouble.
Cyberpower-UK 27th November 2009, 12:05 Quote
His job is to develop a worm that bricks jailbroken iPhones
p3n 27th November 2009, 12:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
Erm, the phones had an open SSH server running with a default password. Anybody could have got in and caused trouble.

Port scanning on the mobile network is probably quite tricky...
perplekks45 27th November 2009, 12:46 Quote
Leaving ports open with a standard password set is inviting trouble. No sympathy from me, sorry.
Xir 27th November 2009, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
Graham Cluley of anti-virus vendor Sophos stated that *snip* "there are plenty of young coders out there who would not have acted so stupidly, are just as worthy of an opportunity inside a software development company

And he's free to hire them, sheesh. How many HAS he or his company hired?
Blackie Chan 29th November 2009, 21:59 Quote
I think this has happened before. and the worm he initially released was harmless. More of a warning than malware. But certainly if it were my iPhone, I would have changed the password in the first place.
Cthippo 30th November 2009, 08:15 Quote
I thought that was how most of these started. Someone releases a proof of concept hack and it gets glommed onto by the black-hats.

Immoral as it may be, someday I would like to create a get-rich quick or some suc website and hire a spammer to, well, spam people about it. When the people clicked on the link, instead of stealing their information or distributing malware they would get a message telling them how stupid they are. The point of all this is I'm curious just who the people are that make spam an effective and profitable form of advertising.
crazyceo 30th November 2009, 09:31 Quote
The chap gets a hansomly paid job but Gary McKinnon does nothing but access US government and military servers looking for little green men and faces 60 years in an american prison. Did he do anything but highlight to the US their security failings? Did he do it for financial gain?

Does that sound as completely bloody stupid as I think it does?
hrtz_Junkie 30th November 2009, 15:11 Quote
I know i'm running the risk off commenting on something I know little about,,,but

Surely this sort off thing is a bad idea (recruiting security proggrammer's from hacker's)

I i was a hacker and someone say microsoft (for example) headhunted me to make windows more secure, the first thing i would do would be to create a load off back doors so when I left the job I could breake into the softwaire (or sell means to do so to other criminals)

In the legal wourld "credibility" is everything, something that seems to so often get conveiniently forgotten as soon as money starts changing hands........

Still thats nothing out of the ordinairy!!lol
Makaveli 1st December 2009, 03:13 Quote
That would be pretty stupid Hryz Junkie, I think they would have a pretty good idea who put all those backdoors in and where to find you!

Not to mention MS Legal vs you equals an epic fail for you!
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