back to article iPhone developer hires worm author

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "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."

    Utter bollocks. A RickRolling is a tiny price to pay to be informed of a security hole of that magnitude. Considering the dependency and the amount of vulnerable info that people carry on their phones these days, the 'victims' should send Towns $5.

  2. g e

    Not big or clever

    Definitely not clever, surely? Wasn't what he made basically a shell script to conenct to an open SSH with the default passwd and then run a script on the phone?

    Essentially similar to :

    scp user@iphone.blah:/tmp/; ssh usr@iphone.blah '/tmp/' < passwd.txt

    No I didn't try that for syntax correctness but you get the idea ;o) The script would find the current wallpaper and overwrite it with His Rickness.

    Maybe if I write something for an iphone that adds a bunch of numbers together I'll get one of those nice contracts in the finance district for £500/day...

    Maybe it was far more complicated than that, I dunno, I got an Android phone instead... ;o)

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me
    Paris Hilton

    As the old saying goes

    All publicity is good publicity as long as they spell my name right.

    Paris - knows all about publicity

  4. Code Monkey

    "whitehat" worm

    If you ask me the worm he wrote was a "whitehat" exercise.

    It drew attention to a security hole in many users' iPhones in a harmless and playful manner.

    If his worm had, say, nicked a load of contact details or whatever other information people had on their phones, then that would be a different matter entirely.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. TheSQLGuy
    Thumb Up

    Utter Genius!

    I think he should be awarded by Apple!! It's not like he's gone and done anything incriminating, say for example, trashed the product or stolen details... that said, he should go to prison for bringing back nightmares of Rick Astely to all of us!! I'm sure Rick is more than happy and may even revive his career from this.

    God help us all! :)

  7. Andy Watt

    @clueless Cluley

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

    Aha. Another bloody CPU-cycle sapping worm pops up, this time to ensure that Sophos gets some much-needed publicity for its' machine-hogging crapware!

    He doesn't actually belong in this story anyway, unless Apple suddenly open up their API and allow anyone to write code which can do anything. He should spend more time breeding $$ paranoia in the Symbian and WinMo worlds.

    I think it's perfectly fitting that this fella should get a job. Hack created: hack published: hack outed: knowledge is power. He could have sold it (I don't know if he tried) but it appears he didn't and wanted to warn those with jailbroken iPhones of the hole they might have.

    Good on him.

  8. Anton Ivanov

    Sour grapes, mr Graham Cluely

    Well... I can understand his dislike for the idea of virus writers finding a job quickly. If they all start doing something productive he will be out of a job.

    Me coat...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't hire him

    His code's shit.

    However, I don't have a problem with his method of 'reporting' the bug. What was he supposed to do? Notify Apple?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      no kidding...

      I'm sure if he tried to post details of this vulnerability he would have been met with take down notices and other legal threats from Crapple...

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Bad code + Plagiarism

    The 'worm' was simply a botched copy of the original dutch source ( that was used 3 days previously to exploit the same ssh issue.

    As usual, the media applaud a retard who simply plagarised an already known exploit then failed to prevent the trail leading to his front door.

    Probably best to avoid anything created by mogeneration if this is the standard of developer they hire.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Looks like this is the only way to get a job these days... He says while reaching for his copy of SQLMap....

  12. Pete 8
    Paris Hilton


    has been humping too many police chief's legs...

    Rickrolling should be legal for exposing faults in our electronic deities..

    Had I writ it it would have perhaps been.


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