Security firm Sophos has reacted negatively to the news, suggesting that it glamorises the writing of potentially malicious code (despite the fact that this worm, in particular, wasn’t malicious) and arguing that there are probably more talented, law-abiding coders who could have been given the job.
There are a number of issues here. Firstly, anyone who jailbreaks their iPhone is opening themselves up to a greater risk of malware and other undesired software, particularly if they don’t bother to do basic housekeeping tasks such as changing default passwords.
Secondly, many organisations already hire hackers, because (whatever you think of them) there’s no denying they have talents that perhaps standard programmers and security staff don’t have.
Towns may not be the most proficient programmer, but is it really surprising that he’s been hired? It’s all publicity for the developer, too.