Apple Hires Comex – iPhone Hacker Behind Popular Jailbreak Tools Like JailbreakMe, Spirit As An Intern
Comex had recently released JailbreakMe 3.0 â€“ one of the easiest solutions toÂ jailbreak iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for iOS 4.3.3, which used a userland exploit to jailbreak and installÂ CydiaÂ on an iOS device using mobile Safari. Apple had to release an iOS 4.3.4 software update to patch the vulnerability.
Comex announced the news via the following tweet:
It’s been really, really fun, but it’s also been a while and I’ve been getting bored. So, the week after next I will be starting an internship with Apple.
Forbes had unmasked Comex as Nicholas Allegra, a 19-year old Brown University student from Chappaqua, New York who stays with his parents.Â Allegra describes jailbreaking as “like editing an English paper… You just go through and look for errors. I donâ€™t know why I seem to be so effective at it.â€
Charlie Miller, a former network exploitation analyst for the National Security Agency had this to say about Comex:
â€œI didnâ€™t think anyone would be able to do what heâ€™s done for years.”
“Now itâ€™s been done by some kid we had never even heard of. Heâ€™s totally blown me away.â€
He hasn’t mentioned what he will be working on at Apple, but we won’t be surprised if he joins Apple’s security to prevent hackers making use of exploits used by him in JailbreakMe and Spirit.
It’s good to see Apple hire talented hackers like Allegra even though he was part of theÂ jailbreakÂ community.Â It is not the first time someone from the iPhone jailbreaking community has joined Apple. Apple had hired Peter Hajas, developer ofÂ jailbreak appÂ â€“Â MobileNotifier that revamps iOS Push notification system.
This is a blow to iPhone jailbreaking community’s cat and mouse with Apple, but we are sure that members of theÂ iPhone Dev team, Chronic Dev team or some kid we had never heard of, will rise up to the challenge.
Good luck to Comex for his internship at Apple!
Back in February, I wrote that MobileNotifier (a replacement notifications system for jailbroken iOS devices) would be the one thing that would make anyone want to jailbreak — and I stand by it. Months later, my iPhone is still jailbroken, almost solely so that I don’t have to go back to Apple’s built-in system.
It seems I’m not the only one who was impressed. Sometime in the last week or so — just days before they announce iOS 5, which is expected to come complete with a new (and hopefully less terrible) notifications system — Apple has pulled MobileNotifier’s developer, Peter Hajas, under their wing.
Whispers of the hire began a few days ago, when Hajas announced that he was “taking a break from MobileNotifier… for a while”. He couldn’t give a reason for his hiatus, but added that “it’s worth it. Trust me. If you look around hard enough, you’ll probably figure it out.”
Ever so coyly, he signed the post with “Until then, stay hungry and stay foolish”, an ultra-geeky reference to Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement speech.
So, a subtle quoting of Apple’s CEO — could be a hint, could just be a rather strange choice of references. Not really enough to go on, either way. Then Redmond Pie dug up the following tweet sent by Hajas, which has since been deleted:
@brittaahh I’m glad you like it! I’ll see what I can do :) I will be back for a few weeks, then I’m off to work in CA at a “fruit” company.
Fruit company, eh? We’re pretty sure Peter isn’t talking about his new gig at Farmer Joe’s Fig Farm.
We asked a few of our Apple sources; while they’d heard his name around campus, none had actually seen him lurking about yet. So, we turned to the world’s favorite stalking-tool-in-the-cloud: Facebook.
Sure enough, Hajas has just added “Apple” to his list of employers, citing an Intern position beginning in May of this year:
So, why “Intern”? It’s par for the course with Apple. They seem to consider it something of a dry run; sort of their way of testing how well newbies mesh with the current talent and how skilled they actually are before giving them access to source code repositories or a fancy title. Of the many Apple iOS/OS X developers I’ve met over the years, every one of them started off as “Intern”.
Good choice, Apple.
kangsterizer writes “Sometimes, news items are just about a good laugh. You may or may not like Apple, but the way it has been handling their antenna issue has been like a small tech soap-opera.
Steve Jobs, the CEO, claiming “not to hold the phone that way”, rumors or software issues, and the latest but most crunchy part, since the antenna issue has been widely discovered, on the 23 june, several “Antenna engineer” positions opened up at Apple. Seems someone got fired:
I just figure they did all their testing in California, where AT&T dropping calls is as common as $4 coffees.