Hacking Their Way to a Job?
A black mark or the ultimate resume? Some young programmers hack to get noticed.
April 17, 2009— -- 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.
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