How a Man Got Hired by Facebook by Infecting It with a 'MySpace Worm'
In 2005, Putnam, along with his friends Marcel Laverdet and Kyle Stoneman, wrote the XSS-based worm, which spread every time an infected Facebook user viewed a friend's profile. In addition to slapping MySpace's clunky boxes and color schemes on top of a Facebook profile's cleaner layout, the worm also sent a friend request to Putnam's account so he could track how far it spread. By doing so, Putnam knew it'd be easy to figure out that he was behind the hack. Sure enough, in less than one day, Putnam received complaints and messages from people -- even some Facebook employees, including co-founder Dustin Moskovitz. He messaged Putnam, saying that the worm was funny, but it was also deleting some users' contact information, which is no joke to the folks at Facebook.
Putnam explained the worm to Moskovitz, and the two kept in touch over the next few months. When Putnam got a job interview in 2006 at a company in San Francisco, Moskovitz quickly countered with an interview at Facebook. Putnam worried this offer was a scam, since a man who wrote a similar MySpace worm was arrested when he thought he was flying to Los Angeles for a job interview with the company. But Facebook wasn't conning Putnam. He was hired almost on the spot, and started working for the company a few days later. "It's one of the things that really sets Facebook apart with its passion for scrappy, hacker-type engineers," Putnam, now a Facebook engineer, wrote on Quora. We're guessing not every company would be as generous in light of a stunt like the one Putnam pulled.