Worm author given a job as an iPhone App Developer
Mogeneration, an Australian software company, has hired the author of the first iPhone worm, Ashley Towns, to develop applications for the iPhone App Store. At the beginning of November, 21 year old Towns circulated the "Ikee" worm via Australian operator Optus's UMTS network. The worm penetrates vulnerable jailbroken iPhones and spreads using open SSH connections. Once logged into a phone, the worm copies itself onto the device, deletes the SSH service and changes the wallpaper to a photo of Rick Astley with the caption "ikee is never going to give you up". It then starts searching for further iPhones to infect.
Towns announced the news of his hiring via his, now no longer public, Twitter account. Graham Cluley, a Senior Technology Consultant for Sophos, complained in a post on his blog that Towns "has not had his collar felt by the long arm of the law", that he was showing "no regret for what he did" and was actually being rewarded for his act.
While the Ikee worm didn't try to, for example, steal or hold user data for ransom, it did install malware that could use up a victims data allowance and it did make unauthorised modifications to the infected iPhones. Cluley goes on to say that "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".
- First iPhone worm features Rick Astley, a report from The H.
- Jailbroken iPhones hacked via UMTS network, a report from The H.
- New iPhone password: "ohshit", a report from The H.