Australian iPhone application development firm Mogeneration, has hired Ashley Towns, the creator of the device’s first worm.
Towns made headlines last month when his ‘Ikee’ virus targeted users who had not changed their root password, switching their wallpaper to image of 80s singer Rick Astley and the caption “Ikee is going to get you”.
Although Towns claimed the virus was not malicious and was designed to highlight a security flaw, the template of the code he used was almost immediately developed to create a more dangerous worm that targeted user’s bank details.
Data protection and security firm Sophos released a statement expressing its “bewilderment” at Mogeneration’s decision.
“It’s very important that a clear message is sent out that writing viruses and worms is not cool, and not a route into employment,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.
“What disheartens me is that Towns has shown no regret for what he did. He admitted specifically infecting 100 iPhones himself, letting his worm loose in the process. Now his utterly irresponsible behaviour appears to have been rewarded. Will Towns be offering a token $5 compensation to those he infected for the inconvenience he caused? I doubt it,” continued Cluley. “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.”