For the social networking darling Twitter, it was a headache and potential threat. But for the young man behind the computer worm that attacked the micro-blogging site this week, it was a fast track to a job.
Called both "Mikeyy" and "StalkDaily," the pesky computer program crashed the tweet-fest for the first time over the weekend, leaving thousands of unwanted messages in its wake.
Infected accounts not only displayed posts left by Twitter users and their followers, but messages directing users to StalkDaily.com and saying things such as "Mikeyy I am done…," "Twitter please fix this" and "Twitter hire Mikeyy."
Well, Twitter did not hire "Mikeyy." But, it looks like someone else will hire 17-year-old Michael "Mikeyy" Mooney.
The teenage programmer told ABCNews.com that after claiming responsibility for the attacks, two companies contacted him with job offers.
And though leading computer security experts do not endorse hacking as way to gain the attention of potential employers, Mooney is hardly the only young programmer to score a job after making headlines for a hack.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., high school senior told ABCNews.com that he started programming in the sixth grade and over the past few years he's developed about five computer worms. In the ninth grade, he says he was expelled from school for half a year after breaking into the county's school network.
Creating worms is something of a hobby, he said. But in the case of the Twitter worm, it was also something else. "It was a little bit to show the developers of Twitter that there was a problem," Mooney said. "I did the worm to get my name out there … to like companies, not just general people. Since Twitter is so big they'll know who I am for the future."
Mooney said he created the worm because he wanted to prove to Twitter that its site was vulnerable before someone else exploited the flaw and caused more harm.
His attack was a "grey hack," he said, that went over the line but didn't pilfer or store any personal information belonging to Twitter users. Mooney said Twitter hasn't contacted him but said he and his parents have retained a lawyer.
"I'm really getting a bad reputation from it but at the same time people are taking into consideration that even though I did some harm I didn't cause any damage," he said.
Among the negative comments and e-mails, he said, he's also received a number of positive ones, including the job offers.
Travis Rowland, founder and CEO of exqSoft Solutions, a custom Web applications development company, confirmed that he'd offered – and that Mooney had accepted – a job with his company, starting immediately.
"I contacted him after I saw what he did to Twitter and asked him," Rowland said, adding that Mooney will be doing security analysis and Web development.
The way he sees it, Twitter wasn't paying attention to a basic vulnerability in its system and Mooney's hack was a service.
Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ABCNews.com, but said on its blog that it "takes security very seriously and we will be following up on all fronts." It also said that it has identified and secured all of the compromised accounts.
With the knowledge Mooney obtained, Rowland said he could have caused more trouble but chose not to.