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iPhone worm author hired by Aussie software developer

In a situation that mirrors that of Michael Mooney, the Twitter worm creator who was hired on the back of his coding exploits, it appears that the jailbroken iPhone worm creator Ashley Towns - aka Ikee_x - has also landed a job.

Reports from Australia say that Towns has been hired as an iPhone software developer, after his Ikee worm alarmed unlocked (jailbroken) iPhone owners with the first iPhone worm.

The iPhone worm author is reported to have been sufficiently proud of his new job that he tweeted his achievement on the Twitter social networking service.

Graham Cluley, a senior security analyst with Sophos, has criticised the appointment of the iPhone worm author - as he did with Mooney's case - noting in a blog posting that the development of the relatively benign iKee worm led to creation of a new dangerous worm, Ikee-B, that steals financial information from iPhones and iPod Touches,

According to Cluley, with Towns getting hired, several other teenagers may get into such nefarious activities to get money or to be hired by some development company.

"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", he said.

"It's ironic that the owners of iPhones that have not been jailbroken may now find themselves running code written by a virus writer", he added.

Cluley went on to say that customers of the software company that hired Towns - may well ask for an explanation for the hacker's employment, and those who were inconvenienced as a result of his iPhone worm may wonder when they will be compensated.

"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."

"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."

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