Feeds

iPhone developer hires worm author

Strewth!

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

An Australian mobile application developer has hired the creator of the first iPhone worm, Ashley Towns, as a software developer.

Towns, 21, from Wollongong, New South Wales, landed a job with mogeneration, publisher of a children's game called Moo Shake! The creator of the infamous ikee (Rickrolling) worm broke news of his new job via his ikeeex Twitter feed.

The ikee worm developed by Towns and released earlier this month changed the wallpaper of vulnerable, jailbroken iPhones to a picture of Rick Astley.

The code was full of bugs. Early versions of the worm copied over the wallpaper of previous victims before overwriting it with an image of the Astley, for example. Towns is yet to be arrested or charged with any offence over the prank.

The publicity surrounding Towns' worm arguably focused attention on a gaping security hole in jailbroken iPhones, which was subsequently exploited by the far more dangerous Duh worm, which turns compromised devices into mobile botnet drones.

Graham Cluley, senior security consultant at Sophos, expressed disappointment that Towns has seemingly been rewarded for writing malware.

"I don't think virus writers shouldn't be allowed to rehabilitate and do something worthwhile with their lives," Cluley said. "But 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. Will Towns be offering a token $5 compensation to all those he infected for the inconvenience he caused? I doubt it."

"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," he added. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.