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iPhone hacker Comex takes internship at Apple

Nicholas Allegra (Comex)

Apple already has considerable engineering talent at its disposal, but the company is apparently adding another set of hands to the mix—just to keep things interesting. Nicholas Allegra—a.k.a. Comex—has revealed that he’s accepted an internship at Apple. It wouldn’t be terribly unusual to hear about a bright 19-year-old taking on an internship at Apple…except that Allegra is the author of JailbreakMe 2 and JailbreakMe 3, two hacks which enabled iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad owners to step outside of Apple’s curated application universe and run any software they like on their devices.

“It’s been really, really fun, but it’s also been a while and I’ve been getting bored,” Allegra wrote on his Twitter feed. “So, the week after next I will be starting an internship with Apple.”

JailBreakMe 2 and 3 used Web-based exploits to unlock iOS devices with a single click to a specifically crafted PDF file that exploited a weakness in the iOS PDF interpreter. The result was a Web site that could break iOS devices free of Apple’s tether with a single click. Apple moved quickly to close the gaps, but last month the potential malicious use of same exploit caused Germany to issue a consumer alert for iOS devices.

Allegra didn’t say what he’ll be working on at Apple. The obvious guess would be mobile device security, but there are undoubtedly many projects at Apple that could hold his interest.

Allegra has admitted to being an Apple fan, and says he did not see his jailbreaks as an struggle against a Big Brother-like Apple.

[Image by Nathaniel Welch]