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Innovation

Teen takes responsibility for Twitter worms

A 17-year-old claims credit for circulating two worms on Twitter because he was bored and wanted to draw attention to the Twitter flaw.
Written by Steven Musil, Contributor on
As a second Twitter exploit began circulating on the micro-blogging site Sunday, a teenager from Brooklyn told CNET News he created both worms because he was bored and wanted to draw attention to the Twitter flaw.

Much like Saturday's StalkDaily worm, the "Mikeyy" worm posts unwanted messages to users' pages. The "Mikeyy" worm began spreading on the micro-blogging site early Sunday, posting messages such as "Mikeyy I am done...," "MikeyyMikeyy is done.," and "Twitter please fix this, regards Mikeyy."

Brooklyn resident Michael "Mikeyy" Mooney, 17, told CNET News in an interview that he created the worm "out of boredom."

"I thought about it later and basically did it because I was bored," he said. "And I didn't think Twitter would fix (the flaw) very soon. But I didn't think it would spread as far or as fast as it did."

Mooney, a high school senior who said one day he hopes to get a job as a security analyst, said he has been creating worms for about three years. He added that the worms he creates aren't designed to do much damage but that this will likely be his last worm.

"I'm done with Twitter," he said, adding that he was feeling a bit overwhelmed. "I've been getting too much attention lately."

Mooney said his site has has been live to the public for about two weeks and has 905 members, but that it "is growing quickly because of the worm."

The messages circulating Saturday promoted StalkDaily.com, a short-messaging site similar to Twitter. While initially denying any responsibility for the worm, StalkDaily.com posted a message saying, "I have came clean and have accepted the responsibility for the worm..."

Twitter said it has closed the hole that allowed the worm to spread.

"We've taken steps to remove the offending updates, and to close the holes that allowed this 'worm' to spread," Twitter said in a statement Saturday. "No passwords, phone numbers, or other sensitive information were compromised as part of this attack."

However, Mooney said he released the second worm exploiting the original flaw Sunday morning, after Twitter claimed to have closed the holes. He also said that he had not yet been contacted by Twitter representatives.

This article was originally posted on CNET News.

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