Ashley Towns ~versus~ Andrew Sanders


I wasn’t gonna bother, but seeing as slackbastard has been linked by Encyclopedia Dramatica, I thought I may as well.

In summary and as is well-known, Ashley Towns is an l33t hacker:

First IPhone Worm Spreads Rick Astley Wallpaper
Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
November 8, 2009

The iPhone’s first worm is spreading, but it only affects certain jailbroken iPhones.

The first worm written for Apple’s iPhone has been unleashed and is infecting phones in Australia. However, the worm, known as Ikee, is only a threat to users who have jaibroken their phones to let them run unauthorized software, security experts say…

The worm was written Wednesday [November 4] by Ashley Towns, a 21 year-old unemployed programmer from [Wollongong], Australia. He hadn’t heard of the Dutch incident when he released his worm, he said Sunday in an instant-message interview. “It was supposed to be a small prank i definitely wasn’t expecting it to get as far as it did,” he said.

Towns wanted to make the point that people should change their default iPhone passwords, especially if they’re using SSH. “A lot of people especially at first thanked me,” he said. “I think most people are relieved its not out to destroy their phone. I have had a few people abuse me though.”

He didn’t really consider the possible legal ramifications of releasing the code, something he said was “quite naive of me,” Towns said.

Once the worm adds the Rick Astley wallpaper, it disables the iPhone’s SSH daemon and then looks around … on the Internet for other vulnerable iPhones to infect.

Tricking victims into playing a video or looking at a picture of Rick Astley — best known for his hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” — is a popular Internet prank called Rickrolling.

It’s not clear how many people have been affected by the worm, but Towns said that his phone alone infected about 100 other devices…

The story has since spread like um, some kinda virus, finding its way to the ABC (Australian admits creating first iPhone virus, Brigid Andersen, November 9, 2009), the BBC (Worm attack bites at Apple iPhone, November 9, 2009), Xinhua (“Jail-broken” i-Phones at risk from worms, November 9, 2009), AFP (iPhone fear as ‘Rick Astley’ worm spreads, Talek Harris, November 9, 2009), FOXNews (Rick Astley Virus Infecting iPhone, November 10, 2009), The Sydney Morning Herald (Mixed response to Astley iPhone virus, Louisa Hearn, November 10, 2009) and elsewhere.

Point being: Towns’ monkey business and propulsion into the orbit of the corporate/state media has irked some, and one fellow Aussie in particular: Andrew Sanders (aka Andrew Kellerman of the ‘Digital Liberty Coalition’). Sanders had his own brush with fame in December 2005, when he established a website titled ‘Fightback’, which was intended to rally the White troops for a second assault upon the non-White beach-goers of Cronulla. (On a spotterly note, the site was subsequently captured by the mighty follower(s) of Trotskyist Ted Grant [1913–2006].)

Sanders himself is a Renaissance man: artiste (‘Val Debauchee’: “an internationally acclaimed artist whose works have been hung around the globe” — see: Picture of extremes, Joe Hildebrand, The Daily Telegraph, April 10, 2006); l33t hacker (self-described ‘Founder of the first public Australian cyberculture group, WKBBS, 1993’ at the age of 13); law-talking guy (aka ‘The Law Society of The University of Western Sydney’ —; photographer; religionist (an ordained Minister with the ‘Universal Life Church’); Tunnel Rat; White supremacist (‘blue8eyed8devil’ on Stormfront) and — no doubt — much more besides.

For moaron Sanders, see : Whatever happened to Andrew Sanders? (July 11, 2008).

All-in-all, quite a character.

Moody too:


Pathological Lying: Symptom or Disease?
Charles C Dike, MD, MPH, MRCPsych
Psychiatric Times, Vol. 25, No.7
June 1, 2008

Pathological lying (PL) is a controversial topic. There is, as yet, no consensus in the psychiatric community on its definition, although there is general agreement on its core elements. PL is characterized by a long history (maybe lifelong) of frequent and repeated lying for which no apparent psychological motive or external benefit can be discerned. While ordinary lies are goal-directed and are told to obtain external benefit or to avoid punishment, pathological lies often appear purposeless. In some cases, they might be self-incriminating or damaging, which makes the behavior even more incomprehensible. Despite its relative obscurity, PL has been recognized and written about in the psychiatric literature for more than a century. The German physician, Anton Delbruck, is credited with being the first to describe the concept of PL. He observed that some of his patients told lies that were so abnormal and out of proportion that they deserved a special category. He subsequently described the lies as “pseudologia phantastica”…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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5 Responses to Ashley Towns ~versus~ Andrew Sanders

  1. Lumpen says:

    Sanders, aka Valiant, owns the site which posted Ashley Towns’ dox.

    Sanders apparently spent a few days recently spamming 4chan organising a raid on Towns, which admittedly produced some mild lulz, which prompted Towns’ claim on TripleJ that “it’s all a 4chan smear campaign.” This probably pleased Sanders to no end, as he has been trying to be the face of 4chan in Sydney for ages (as I’ve said before). That’s just speculation though.

    What is very odd, and verifiable, about Sanders’ activities in relation to Ashley Towns is that he, Sanders, was once accused of doing the same thing with a similar shitstorm ensuing. It stemmed from this article in Wired back in 2000 with vague claims about the Love worm and hinting that he had a part in its creation.

    According to The Age:

    …He claimed to have developed something “remarkably similar” to the New Love computer virus.

    …But things in the hacking world turned nasty. A rival group said his New Love claims were hollow and “attacked” his house to teach him a lesson, plastering his front door and car with stickers bearing their logo, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2001.

    By early 2001, Halcon folded. Sanders blamed another hacking organisation [2600?] for its demise, describing them as “the rich kids of the local hacking scene”, and said the Australian scene was falling apart.

    According to Dogcow, the claims by Sanders at creating, or having a hand in, the creation of the infamous Love Bug virus were bullshit:

    …The odd thing about this “myth” is in two parts; firstly that it was created by Mr Sanders himself when he made contact with Wired Magazine regarding the ease with which one might modify the “Love” virus/worm and secondly that in the process, he’s not stated his intentions clearly in conversations with Wired and has ended up implicating himself in a caper which spans the globe and for which there is no universal, single suspect that governments and law enforcement can extract a symbolic pound of flesh from.

    From a technical standpoint, the fact that an individual examined the source code of the existing “Love” virus/worm and opined and perhaps experimented with an increased potential for destruction is not at all outstanding by any means. …In any case, Mr Sanders should be called upon to substantiate his claim of parentage, accidental or otherwise. I, for one, believe his story is pure fabrication.

    In other words, Andrew Sanders the not-very-good-racist, aka Valiant, is attacking Ashley Towns for doing almost precisely the same thing he was accused of doing 9 years earlier, for which he was torn a new arsehole by actual hackers and lost considerable credibility. I can only imagine what kind of gratification this could have given Andrew Sanders.

    His motivation for this, IMHO, is clear and thus he falls outside the scope of being a pathological liar according to the definition above.

  2. Lumpen says:

    Oops, I didn’t mean to call it Love Bug.

  3. @ndy says:

    That’s OK.

    Besides, word on the street is that Sanders is also a champion racing car driver.

    True story.

  4. Lumpen says:

    Cool story, bro.

    Is my memory faulty, or was ‘Love Bug’ what they called the virus in the media at the time? Or was that something different?
    I couldn’t find a reference in 5 mins of googling, but I accidentally put it in there anyway.

  5. Ash says:

    That was definitely an informing read.

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