The iPhone worm author gets job as developer

infected red

The creator of the Rick Astley' worm has got a job as an iPhone application developer, according to his Twitter page.

Ashley Towns, a 21-year-old Australian, was responsible for the first iPhone virus in Ikee', which spread into jail-broken phones with an image of Rick Astley and the message Ikee is never going to give you up'.

As it wasn't malicious' in the fact it didn't try to steal data, many believed it was just a prank, although it was estimated that 17,000 to 25,000 iPhone could be at risk from infection.

However, a newer worm has been released which does try to steal data, which is believed to be based on the same source code as Ikee.

Sophos senior security consultant Graham Cluley was bewildered at the news that Towns was hired by a Sydney-based firm called Mogeneration.

Cluley said that although he believed anybody was entitled to get a job and do something with their lives, it left a "nasty taste" that Towns had never expressed any guilt or regret for his actions.

"To my mind, it appears that he has committed an illegal act," said Cluley. "The source code was used for more damaging worms which have come in the week since."

"I do wonder, will he have got this job if he didn't release the worm? There are other young developers out there who are more careful with their code and have a better sense of computer ethics."

Cluley said that there has been a history of virus writers in the past who have got jobs as a result of their viruses and notoriety, and it could happen again.

He added: "There's always a danger that somebody making the headlines can be looked up to' as being something special, where as I think we should have an attitude of you plonker'."