Ikee worm author bags iPhone developer job


Ikee worm author bags iPhone developer job

Warwick Ashford

The creator of the first iPhone worm, Ashley Towns, has announced on Twitter that Sydney-based software firm Mogeneration has offered him a job after his headline-grabbing antics.

The Ikee worm changed the wallpaper on infected iPhones to an image of 1980s pop star Rick Astley.

This inconvenienced hundreds of users in Australia, who had to restore the normal functioning of their handsets, and used up valuable data packages to spread to other iPhone users.

The 21-year-old Towns claims he created the worm to raise awareness about the security risks of using "jailbroken" iPhones modified to run any application and work with any network.

But in creating Ikee, Towns also provided the template for the more dangerous Duh worm which hijacks iPhones for a botnet and steals financial information, said Graham Cluley, technology consultant for Sophos, in a posting on his award-winning blog.

"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," he wrote.

Cluley said writing viruses and worms is "not cool" and should not be a route to employment.

However, Towns is not the first to get a job after shooting to prominence for creating a piece of malware.

In 2007, Li Jun, the Chinese creator of a virus that changed icons to a picture of a panda burning joss-sticks, was employed with a £66,000 salary by a company infected by his malware.

And five years ago, Sven Jaschan, who authored the widespread Netsky and Sasser worms, caused outrage in the IT community when he was hired by a German security firm.

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