Nicholas Allegra, also known by the hacker handle "Comex," probably didn't know that hacking the iPhone would lead to a job with Apple --- but it has. The 19-year-old will be starting an internship with the company next month, he tweeted Thursday.
Allegra, who reportedly taught himself computer programming at 9, is considered a sophisticated hacker that truly understands how to work around Apple's security system, AppleInsider reported. Allegra was part of the iPhone Dev Team, the group responsible for creating the JailbreakMe exploit for the iPhone 4. "Jailbreaking" refers to hacking the iOS so users can install custom content or apps without Apple's permission. An updated version of JailbreakMe was launched only last month. From AppleInsider:
The hacker expressed that he's not sure why he has such a knack for circumventing Apple's security measures. “It feels like editing an English paper,” Allegra said. “You just go through and look for errors. I don’t know why I seem to be so effective at it.”
Apple could just be following Facebook's lead -- after all, the social network did hire hacker GeoHot in June. For companies needing talented coders, hacking isn't necessarily a bad thing because it means that a programmer knows a system well enough to manipulate it. In Apple's case, Allegra may know more about the iOS than several of its engineers.