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Is Apple Courting Another Jailbreaker to Help Secure iOS?

Dave Courbanou

September 19, 2011

2 Min Read
Is Apple Courting Another Jailbreaker to Help Secure iOS?

The list is growing. First, Apple recruited Peter Hajas, who developed a jailbreak notification system that is eerily similar to what Apple has implemented in iOS 5. Then, Jailbreak.me expert Comex was brought aboard the Apple Mothership for an internship. Now, iPhoneDevTeam jailbreaker MuscleNerd is saying little about his recent visit to the Cupertino campus. Is Apple recruiting its ‘enemies’ to help better its platform? Here’s the scoop …

Those who follow MusceNerd on Twitter were treated to a picture of one the few Apple-authorized pieces of apparel that can be purchased only at the Apple Company Store on the Cupertino Campus. The t-shirt smugly states, “I visited the Apple campus. But that’s all I’m allowed to say.” MuscleNerd’s tweet provides a caption:

“Well this afternoon sure was fun…(what a great company!)…”

Conspiracy or a complimentary trip to the Mecca of All Things Apple? MuscleNerd isn’t’ saying, but it’s evident Apple has taken an interest in what people want from its phones and the intelligent individuals behind the hacking of iOS. This may be a show of goodwill from Apple to try and convince hackers that Apple is open and willing to change its platform, but it’s just all in due time. It may also be a clandestine way to discourage continued hacking by humanizing Apple and making it seem less like a big, faceless corporation.

No matter what Apple’s motive (and I’m sure there is one) MuscleNerd has said nothing about leaving the iOS hacking scene, which is completely different from Hajas and Comex before him, who both had to call it quits after deciding to work for Apple. Whatever Apple’s strategy, it’s clear Apple takes a considerable interest not only in knowing about the jailbreak scene, but also knowing who the leaders are behind it. That’s completely contrary to Apple’s longtime unofficial policy to essentially ignore the jailbreak community and just keep releasing updates that erase any hacks.

But Apple may realize the reason jailbreaking is around is because each iOS update has some exploit that allows jailbreakers to get in. Having jailbreakers as assets on the Apple team could be key to building a more secure mobile operating system, as mobile platforms proliferate at a staggering rate.

Anything is possible at this point, but I’ll keep scouring the web as I uncover Apple’s next moves, and maybe, just maybe, MuscleNerd will be part of them …

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