Monday, August 29, 2011

JailbreakMe creator Comex lands an internship with Apple

JailbreakMe is virtually a jailbreaking tool for dummies - you just visit the website and follow the simple instructions to set your device free. Now Nicholas Allegra aka Comex, the person behind all that beautiful simplicity, has decided to join Cupertino’s team as an intern starting next week.

“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,” Comex tweeted.

Apple has been recruiting talent from the jailbreaking scene and just a couple of months ago it hired Peter Hajas, developer behind MobileNotifier, an advanced and unobstructive notification system for jailbroken devices. 

In the beginning of the month, Forbes uncovered that Comex is actually a 19 year old student at Brown University living in Chappaqua, NY and looking for an internship recently. He describes himself as self taught coder as he first started programming in Basic at nine.

He describes jailbreaking like “editing an English paper. You just go through and look for errors. I don’t know why I seem to be so effective at it.” Comex has played seek and hide with Apple since earlier versions of iOS and has always managed to quickly find and expose vulnerabilities in iOS. Apple has always followed up on the jailbreaks and patched security holes randomizing the location of code and generally making it harder for hackers to get admin access to the machine. 

The last gem of the hacker’s findings is a PDF renderer exploit, which allows running software for cracking an iOS device. Actually, Comex himself admits that the difference between jailbreaking a device for better customizing your iPhone, or for malicious purposes is scarily scant. In a way, thus he has contributed a lot to iOS security.

“It’s scary,” he exclaims. “I use the same phone as everyone else, and it’s totally insecure.”

Recent reports do reassure us to a certain extent as malware on iOS seems to be at significantly lower levels than rival Android. And now as Comex is at Apple, hopefully iOS security would only improve faster.

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