#1
The 21-year-old hacker who wrote the first iPhone worm has landed a job developing software for the phones.

Ashley Towns wrote Ikee, a self-propagating program that changed the phone's wallpaper to a picture of 80s pop singer Rick Astley.

Mr Towns has now been employed as a iPhone application developer for Australian firm mogeneration.

Ikee was not malicious but paved the way for a more serious variant which targeted users of the online bank ING.

"It leaves a nasty taste that he has been rewarded like this, yet has not even expressed regret for his actions," Graham Cluley of Security firm Sophos told BBC News.

Mr Towns said that he had created the virus to raise the issue of security. He has not faced any criminal charges.

'Wild worm'

It was designed to exploit jail-broken phones, where a user has removed Apple's protection mechanisms to allow the phone to run any software.

Estimates suggest there could be up to 25,000 jailbroken phones in Australia, whilst up to 10% of the more than 55m iPhones and iPod Touches devices sold worldwide are thought to be cracked.

It specifically targeted those handsets with SSH (secure shell) installed, a program that enables other devices to connect to the phone and modify the system and files.

The worm was able to infect those phones where the owners had not changed the default password after installing SSH.

It could be removed by changing the phone's password and deleting some files.

After it was found circulating "in the wild", a second worm was discovered. Mr Cluley said it was "based" on Mr Town's code and targeted people in the Netherlands who used their iPhones for internet banking with Dutch online bank ING.

The new worm redirects the bank's customers to a lookalike site with a log-in screen. It can also be used to remotely control the phone without the users permission.

Analysts said that it was designed with a "clear financial motive".

Mr Towns is the latest in a long line of programmers to find employment after a high-profile hack.

In 2008, New Zealand computer hacker Owen Thor Walker was hired by a telecommunications company as a security consultant.

He had previously pleaded guilty or being part of an organisation that was thought to have caused millions of dollars worth of damage.

"We interviewed Ashley, assessed him with our iPhone developer test - which he passed with flying colours - and we employed him today," said a spokesperson for mogeneration.


In other news, America have awarded Osama Bin Laden a job in border patrol.
#3
Quote by Minkaro
In other news, America have awarded Osama Bin Laden a job in border patrol.

Well, it's not like that is it.

The guy probably wrote the worm for fun, and now he's being paid probably a lot of money to write other software for the market. Loads of ex-"cybercriminals" have gone on to be top consultants.
#4
Quote by diminishedtobme
Dude, youre opening up a can of worms here.
There's an app for that.
#5
Quote by ctb
There's an app for that.


There's probably an app for that too.


S t a i r s s r i a t S

#7
meh i dont see any problem here, ppl messed up their security features, which obviously means they have no care for their security, so he used it to his advantage,

nothing wrong there IMO
its not like you go around leaving your car unlocked, you realise it can get stolen, if you do the same with your technology, your fault.

since hes a good programmer then why not get a job.
Sell and Promote your music TuneHub!



wy is yer mad at muy gramhar fer?


Quote by jimmyled
jimmybanks youre a genius.


aparently i ar smrt?
Quote by dyingLeper
jimmybanks youre a genius


GO SENS GO
#8
Quote by Minkaro
In other news, America have awarded a 4chan user a job in border patrol.



Fixed.

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#10
that app joke got real old real fast - not funny.
Sell and Promote your music TuneHub!



wy is yer mad at muy gramhar fer?


Quote by jimmyled
jimmybanks youre a genius.


aparently i ar smrt?
Quote by dyingLeper
jimmybanks youre a genius


GO SENS GO
#11
Quote by JimmyBanks6
that app joke got real old real fast - not funny.



Ouch, even I felt that burn.

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#12
Quote by osxtiger
In other news, America have awarded a 4chan user a job in the FBI.


fix'd.


anyway. you guys dont seem to realize the person didnt do this for personal gain or to damage ipods or anything like that, they were just trying to raise awareness about security to jailbroken ipod users.
that's a good deed in my books.
Quote by StraightxXxEdge
Quote by Truespin
you can't use a guitar to replace your lack of charm or social skills.

Worked for Malmsteen.
#13
New Zealand computer hacker Owen Thor Walker


I can't be the only one that noticed that.

It makes sense to have someone who knows the system, work the system. He's obviously a decent programmer. Also, his worm affected jail broken phones. I don't see how he did anything wrong.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.