Well-known iPhone ?jailbreak? hacker visits Apple campus for unknown reasons

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
iPhone Dev Team prominent hacker MuscleNerd confirms visit to Apple?s headquarters in Cupertino, California, sparking speculation that the iPhone maker may be interested in hiring another figure of the unofficial iOS jailbreaking community.



Not known by his real name, but very popular with iOS device users for his iOS hacking work as part of the iPhone Dev Team, MuscleNerd attended Intel?s IDF Conference in San Francisco.



The hacker, BusinessInsider reported , made a visit to Apple?s campus in Cupertino during that period, although the purpose of his visit is not known at this time.



MuscleNerd posted an image on his Twitter account, currently followed by over 230,000 people, showing a t-shirt that reads: ?I visited the Apple campus. But that?s all I?m allowed to say.? Also noticeable in the same image is an Apple nametag showing his screen name, ?Muscle Nerd,? instead of the real name.



Accompanying the image is a short tweet detailing the visit: ?well this afternoon sure was fun? (what a great company!)?,? but the hacker doesn?t go into further specifics regarding a possible employment with Apple.







This news comes just a few weeks after iOS hacker ?Comex? confirmed his new status as a future Apple intern.



19-year old Nicholas ?Comex? Allegra, also a well-known persona in the iOS universe, was offered an internship with Apple recently. Known for his efforts into devising and developing new ways of jailbreaking various generations of iOS devices, including the iPad 2, Allegra confirmed he would not pursue such hacking endeavors in the future.



Comex and MuscleNerd, single-handedly or working with other iPhone Dev Team members, have provided in recent years various jailbreak solutions for iOS devices such as iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV.



Such a procedure, legal in the USA under 2010 DMCA, is meant to allow users to gain full access to the operating system and install unsupported iOS applications that wouldn?t be otherwise available in the App Store and tweak current existing apps without Apple?s permission.



Apple however doesn?t support the procedure and maintains the fact that jailbreaking iOS devices leads to voiding the product?s warranty. The company?s effort to block jailbreaking attempts and patch the security holes that permitted them has recently been praised by the iPhone Dev Team in a short blog post following Steve Jobs? resignation as CEO last month. ?We loved the chase! Good luck, Steve,? the Dev Team noted at the time.



Despite its continued opposition to iOS jailbreaking, the company has also recently hired Peter Hajas, an iOS developer known for his work on an alternative notification system for jailbroken iPhones. His innovative solutions were demoed before Apple introduced a totally revamped notification system that will be available to users in the forthcoming iOS 5 mobile OS version.



Besides jailbreaking, the iPhone Dev Team is also responsible for offering iPhone unlocking solutions to smartphone users interested in bypassing Apple?s protocols that keep the handset locked to a specific carrier.



Should MuscleNerd join Comex and pursue a career with Apple, the jailbreaking community may be ?significantly crippled? in the months to come, BusinessInsider notes.



Until now, all current iOS 5 beta versions have been jailbroken with various software solutions including the ones offered by the iPhone Dev Team. Apple is expected to launch the final iOS 5 version in early October with the iPhone 5 release following shortly after that.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Is this an "If you can't beat 'em, get them to join you" strategy or is there a real need for these maverick (or rogue, depending on your slant) coders?
  • Reply 2 of 36
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    It seems that these guys are really good at finding security holes in iOS. That would certainly make them of some value to Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    What if Apple were to officially support a jail-brake option? I know that sounds like a contradiction - let me explain: If Apple allowed Jail-braking as a user option giving complete control over what they install on their iPhones, with a warning that doing so would open the door to malware, instability, and security issues, then iPhones would have the best of both worlds. The warning could also stipulate that if Jail-braking is chosen and things go wrong, then the only support that Apple would offer is complete re-installation of iOS, and that the safety of user data is their own responsibility.



    I expect I am missing something obvious here that would make this a stupid idea (hey, it's late and I'm v tired!).
  • Reply 4 of 36
    My guess is that future jailbreaks may be few and far between.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    There will be plenty of new people who'd join the iphone Dev or start their own group to jailbreak the iOS devices, the demand is just too big for that not to happen.



    But I do agree with these hiring decisions, these guys are probably slightly better than some of the people working on security of iOS devices right now.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mobius View Post


    What if Apple were to officially support a jail-brake option? I know that sounds like a contradiction - let me explain: If Apple allowed Jail-braking as a user option giving complete control over what they install on their iPhones, with a warning that doing so would open the door to malware, instability, and security issues, then iPhones would have the best of both worlds.



    That's not the Apple way. They don't operate like that.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post


    These guys are probably slightly better than some of the people working on security of iOS devices right now.



    There's no such thing as slightly better when it comes to OS security. It's black and white. They can hack what Apple releases. Apple want to release something that at least these guys can't hack.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    At this point, the only thing I really really need from jailbreaking is unlock.



    Sbsettings is nice, but I could live without it. Free my phone apple from AT&T locks!
  • Reply 9 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mobius View Post


    What if Apple were to officially support a jail-brake option?



    (hey, it's late and I'm v tired!).







    Then get to bed and come back tomorrow to wipe the egg off your face.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eswinson View Post


    My guess is that future jailbreaks may be few and far between.



    My guess is that they continue. But as the legitimate utility of a jailbreak is becoming tremendously less with every update Apple puts out, eventually the only reason to jailbreak will be, as the uninformed haters currently say, "to pirate applications". And eventually there might truly not be "a single jailbreaker who hasn't pirated an app."
  • Reply 10 of 36
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    Well, at the very least, hopefully this will shutup those that always ranted about the jb devs being a bunch of thieving degenerates. The more of these guys go to work for Apple and contribute to the haters daily experience the less they can allow themselves to irrationally hate them.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,495member
    Sounds like Apple is hiring jailbreakers to battle jailbreakers. Jailbreaking became a lot less interesting for many people when AT&T started cracking down on tethering.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eswinson View Post


    My guess is that future jailbreaks may be few and far between.



    It's the end of jailbreak for all you know. But it would mean more app revenue for Apple and the developers. It's a good thing for me as a shareholder too.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Would be amusing if these guys infiltrated the jailbreaking community and patched holes as the exploits were in the making.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    <Darth Vader>Nooooooooo!</Darth> not MuscleNerd!!!
  • Reply 15 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Is this an "If you can't beat 'em, get them to join you" strategy or is there a real need for these maverick (or rogue, depending on your slant) coders?



    Both, indubitably.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,414member
    Just curious, when Apple hires guys like this ... Are they ever heard from again?
  • Reply 17 of 36
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Tell that to the millions of people unlocking iPhones to operate on different carriers (myself included). Jail breaking is an essential step to that.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    Sounds like Apple is hiring jailbreakers to battle jailbreakers. Jailbreaking became a lot less interesting for many people when AT&T started cracking down on tethering.



  • Reply 18 of 36
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Not sure that is true. Apple doesn't make a lot of profit from App sales. It isn't part of its plan. Apple's mostly trying to sell hardware. Many people buy iPhones (thereby making Apple a profit) to jailbreak and unlock the phone to use on other networks. Crushing that ability ultimately kills sales.



    Further, developers on iOS already make far more then on competing platforms. People who download illegal software, where not buying it anyway, so I doubt there is much lost revenue there.



    I am a shareholder as well, and I have a jailbroken phone. I have bought a lot of software on the phone. I wouldn't' have an iPhone at all if I couldn't jailbreak it to unlock it. Therefore in my case being able to jailbreak the phone made Apple money in my case.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IronTed View Post


    It's the end of jailbreak for all you know. But it would mean more app revenue for Apple and the developers. It's a good thing for me as a shareholder too.



  • Reply 19 of 36
    These guys know iPhone inside and out. How can you not want them on your team. That's dedication and skill and I'm sure it's much more to do with creating a stronger, safer user experience than just "battling jail breaking".
  • Reply 20 of 36
    I jailbreak solely for the unlock, and a few applications available only to the jailbreakers. Lockinfo, iFile and a growl app
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