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Comex answers questions about his future involvement in the Jailbreak community

Nicholas Allegra better known as Comex has gone to work for Apple in an internship. He came onto Reddit yesterday to answer a few questions about his future involvement in the Jailbreak community.

Unfortunately he probably won’t be able to partake in jailbreaking Apple devices in the near future because he is working for them. Most likely he will have to sign some sort of form that will bar him from partaking in the activity.

As indicated on Reddit, Comex will now assist Apple in finding exploits in the current and future iOS versions. Check out part of the Q&A below.

After your internship with Apple and after iOS 5 is officially released, will you continue to support the jailbreak community by providing exploits?

Comex: No. (But I’ll want to jailbreak my phone, so I hope someone finds them :p)

Why an intern position though? It seems like you could carry a regular position at apple. (AstroZombie138)

Comex: I don’t know if I’d want to do that- I’ve never had a job before and I don’t know what it’s like- and I intend to go back to college soon.

How has the core jailbreak dev teams responded to you going to work for apple?

Comex: Mostly with congratulations.

Did you always set out to be a hacker or was it just something that interested you and found you had a [knack] for?

Comex: I never wanted to be a black hat hacker, but I did enjoy hacking (originally SQL injection and crap) as a natural extension of programming.

Your thoughts on Steve Jobs’ departure?

Comex: Really a shame; I was hoping to meet him some day, and, company direction aside, keynotes won’t be as entertaining without him.

Have you made any money from the jb scene?

Comex: I’ve made a good amount of money through donations, which is mostly being used to help pay for college. JailbreakMe 2.0 was like $40,000; 3.0 was $15,000 (not quite sure why it decreased).

Have you met Steve Jobs?

Comex: I wish.

Can you give any insight on how apple views the Jailbreak communities mods?

Comex: I have no idea.

As a huge open book for them to steal take ideas from.

Comex: I certainly don’t mind. Jailbreak community puts an idea in front of people with a crappy implemenation; Apple polishes it to the point where it can be an OS feature. I don’t know whether Apple actually pays attention to jailbreak apps, but see App Store, copy and paste, multitasking, etc…

Firstly, why did you choose to get involved in specifically the iPhone jailbreaking scene, what was it attracted you to the iPhone? Secondly, did you always set out to be a hacker or was it just something that interested you and found you had a nack for? Finally, in regards to the PDF bug used for the JailbreakMe.com jailbreak, where on earth did you get the brilliant idea for it?

Comex: I had one… and it was a device that (a) had a lot of functionality, (b) had a nice and flexible UNIX OS, (c) already had an active homebrew community, and (d) was really cool. :p

I never wanted to be a black hat hacker, but I did enjoy hacking (originally SQL injection and crap) as a natural extension of programming.

FreeType was one of the less studied open source components of iOS.

Do you have any regrets?

Comex: I should have worked on these jailbreaks more consistently, and released them more quickly; I’ve had several exploits fixed on me that could have been used in a jailbreak if I was quicker at packaging.

What, besides money, made you flip to the other side?

Comex: It’s not about money. A large part of my motivation to jailbreak was always the challenge; the internship will be a new sort of challenge.

Do you know if any of the PDF exploits you found were also discovered by other people before you implemented them into JailbreakMe?

Comex: I haven’t heard any reports of that, although I was very scared once when, checking my email after the plane I was in landed, I saw a cff security update on one of those mailing lists. Luckily it turned out to be’ a different bug.

Thanks for the iOS and, well, other ios hackery. Congrats on your new job. I just hope you keep on fiddling and coding, even if your new overlords limit the scope of your endeavours. Is there anything on the horizon in that regard?

Maybe when I get my TouchPad I’ll find something fun to do with it. Or maybe I’ll finally learn how FPGAs work…

Learn more the author of this post:

Matt
I was a Computer and Information Technology student at Purdue University. I have always wanted my own website and have been fascinated with technology my entire life. So here I am, what's next?
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