Gone Legit: First iPhone Hacker Hired to Create iPhone Apps

By Andrew Moseman | December 1, 2009 12:51 pm

iphone-webLook, it’s a recession, and you gotta do whatever you can to get your name out there. Ashley Towns, the 21-year-old Australian student who crafted the first iPhone worm, used the notoriety to land a job building iPhone apps with the Australian developer Mogeneration.

Though this might seem an odd way to land a new gig, Towns is just the latest in a long line of hackers turned legit. And his worm was tame by comparison to its followers: Towns’ code simply rickrolled “jailbroken” iPhones—those hacked by their owners—by changing the phone’s wallpaper to a glamor shot of singer Rick Astley. Some subsequent iPhone worms are far from harmless pranks; one steals banking information.

Despite the relative harmlessness of Towns’ rickroll, the idea of rewarding bad behavior doesn’t sit well with some developers. Wired.com reports:

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said the move sends the wrong message to hackers.

“What disheartens me is that Towns has shown no regret for what he did,” Cluley told TechWorld. “Now his utterly irresponsible behavior appears to have been rewarded. There are plenty of young coders out there who would not have acted so stupidly, and 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.”

Related Content:
80beats: iPhone Worms Move from Harmless (Rickroll) to Nasty (Stolen Bank Info)
80beats: Sorry, Australian iPhone Users: You’ve Been Rickrolled
Discoblog: Weird iPhone Apps

Image: flickr / William Hook

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: hackers, iPhone

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

See More

Collapse bottom bar