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Apple Hires the Hacker who Invented Jailbreakme.com

nicholas-allegra-comex ios jailbreak

A 19 year Old Hacker Nicholas Allegra, who many people know by the name of ‘Comex’ and the guy who finally jailbroke the iPad 2 and brought Jailbreakme.com which can/could be used to Jailbreak your iOS devies by just a single click. Comex A.K.A Nicholas Allegra has be recruited by Apple as he announced this news of his hire on his Twitter account.
This special tool allow users to jailbreak Apple devices simply in just minutes. Just visiting the website with Safari would trigger a security vulnerability, allowing code to run which would jailbreak the iPhone or iPad. Nicholas Allegra lives with his parents in Chappaqua, New York. The tall, shaggy-haired and bespectacled 19-year old has been on leave from Brown University since last winter, looking for an internship. And in the meantime, he’s been spending his days on a hobby that periodically sends shockwaves through the computer security world: seeking out cracks in the source code of Apple’s iPhone, a device with more software restrictions than practically any computer on the market, and exploiting them to utterly obliterate its defenses against hackers.

After Allegra released JailbreakMe 2 last year, Apple upped its game another notch, randomizing the location of code in memory so that hackers can’t even locate commands to hijack them. That’s like requiring an attacker to assemble a note out of a random magazine he’s never read before, in the dark. In a recent interview with Forbes magazine, Comex said that finding vulnerabilities in iOS operating system is 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.”

Dino Dai Zovi, co-author of the Mac Hacker’s Handbook, says JailbreakMe’s sophistication is on par with that of Stuxnet, a worm thought to have been designed by the Israeli or U.S. government to infect Iran’s nuclear facilities. He compares Allegra’s skills to the state-sponsored intruders that plague corporations and governments, what the cybersecurity industry calls “advanced-persistent threat” hackers: “He’s probably five years ahead of them,” says Dai Zovi.

The young hacker taught himself to code in the programming language Visual Basic at the age of nine, gleaning tricks from Web forums. “By the time I took a computer science class in high school, I already knew everything,” he says. When he found that he couldn’t save a screenshot from the Nintendo Wii video game Super Smash Brothers to his computer, he spent hours deciphering the file, and later worked on other Wii hacks, getting a feel for its obscure operating system.

“I didn’t come out of the same background as the rest of the security community,” he says. “So to them I seem to have come out of nowhere.”

In January, Sony used that law and others to sue George Hotz, one of Allegra’s fellow iPhone hackers, for reverse engineering the Playstation 3. The suit was settled, but not before it touched off a wave of retaliatory cyberattacks on Sony by hackers around the world.

Allegra admits that technically, there’s little difference between jailbreaking phones and hacking them for more malicious ends. “It’s scary,” he says. “I use the same phone as everyone else, and it’s totally insecure.”

But at least in the case of JailbreakMe 3, Allegra also created a patch for the PDF vulnerability he exploited, allowing users to cover their tracks so that other hackers couldn’t exploit the same bug. In the period before Apple released an official patch, users who had jailbroken their iPads and iPhones were in some sense more secure than those who hadn’t.