Twitter hacker hired in publicity stunt
Published 17:14, 21 April 09
I wonder how the job advert was worded?
"Wanted: Ethically-immature juvenile to write web applications. Must have experience of writing malware for micro-blogging websites. Bizarre spelling of first name an advantage."
Sadly, the rumours are true. 17-year-old Mikeyy Mooney who has caused mayhem on Twitter in the last week with a series of worms exploiting cross-site scripting flaws hitting thousands of users, has been rewarded with a job.
Not, I'm pleased to say, a job with Twitter, but with a small US company called exqSoft Solutions. Travis Rowland their CEO believes that Mooney did Twitter a favour by unleashing worms that exploited security flaws.
I view the hiring of Mikeyy Mooney as nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt. After all, there are plenty of talented young people out there who know as much (if not more) than Mooney about computers, but who did not prove themselves to have the wisdom of an eight year old and release a worm.
Mikeyy Mooney could have gained valuable kudos, and built up a reputation as a serious and responsible security researcher if he had acted more maturely.
Based upon his track record, I certainly wouldn't want him working at my company.
But maybe you feel differently? Why not have your say in the poll below.
Ironically, it was only few hours after it was revealed that Mooney had won employment that another worm began to spread on Twitter. It's message? "I work for exqSoft Solutions now - http://www.exqsoft.com/ - mikeyy".
Whether this was Mikeyy or a copycat hacker at play isn't clear yet, but it is obvious that more needs to be done to keep these critical systems secure.
Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his other blog on the Sophos website you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley.