Worm author given iPhone dev job

November 27, 2009 // 10:18 a.m.

Tags: #ashley-towns #crack #cracker #ikee-worm #iphone #iphone-worm #malware #malware-author #mogeneration #vx #vxer #worm

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.

WEEK IN REVIEW

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU