Apple has snatched up a 19-year-old hacker named Nicholas Allegra, an iOS jailbreaker and coding wunderkind who has been a pestiferous thorn in the company’s sleek shiny side ever since he released a web-based tool called JailbreakMe that allows users of Apple devices to crack the company’s byzantine security apparatus. The Brown University undergraduate has been living at his parents’ home in Chappaqua, New York.
Allegra operated under the hacker name Comex until he was unmasked in a Forbes piece earlier this month. Since he released JailbreakMe 3 in July, more than 2 million people used his tool to jailbreak their Apple devices. Software security analysts were impressed, even if Apple was not.
“I didn’t think anyone would be able to do what he’s done for years,” Charlie Miller, a former network exploitation analyst for the National Security Agency, told reporters. “Now it’s been done by some kid we had never even heard of. He’s totally blown me away.”
Read more at The New York Times.