Author of First iPhone Worm Gets Job as Developer

Security expert expresses discontent

By on November 26th, 2009 11:15 GMT
Sophos’ Graham Cluley has updated his blog with news that the author of the Ikee worm, emerged earlier this month, has gotten himself places, thanks to his malicious feat. Cluley doesn’t care much for the hacker and would rather see him pay for his actions, rather than get rewarded.

“The author of the world's first iPhone worm must be feeling pretty chirpy today, because he's managed to get himself a job as an iPhone application developer,” Cluley writes. “21-year-old Australian Ashley Towns, revealed that he was going to join mogeneration [...] on his Twitter feed earlier today,” the post goes.

“Despite admitting writing the Ikee iPhone worm, and personally initially infecting some 100 iPhones with the malware that could gobble up victims' data allowance, Towns has not had his collar felt by the long arm of the law,” the security expert continues. “Lets not forget that his worm not only made unauthorised modifications to the iPhones of its innocent victims (requiring a fiddly repair), and contained some elementary bugs, but it also provided the template for the more dangerous Duh worm which attempts to convert iPhones into a botnet and steal financial information,” Cluley upholds.

The Sophos researcher admits malware authors, like Towns, don’t necessarily belong behind bars, but does assert that “rehabilitation” may be in order for these types of individuals. “Don't get me wrong - I don't think virus writers shouldn't be allowed to rehabilitate and do something worthwhile with their lives,” Cluley writes. “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,” the security expert concludes.


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