tagged w/ jailbreakme
See that kid above? That's Nicholas Allegra. He's the hackdom Harry Potter to Apple's Ye-Who-Shall-Not-Jailbreak-Our-Wares, and Forbes managed to sniff him out for a little bold-faced exposé. The 19-year old hero of the iOS community, better known as Comex, got his self-taught start with Visual Basic when he was still in single digits. After graduating through a venerable online forum education, the precocious coding lad set his smarts to homebrew Wii development, and the rest is JailbreakMe history.
The self-described Apple fanboy admits his background is atyipcal of the cybersecurity industry, but with a former National Security Agency analyst praising his work as years ahead of his time, we don't think he should worry. For all the trouble his code has caused Cupertino, Allegra's not trying to be the embedded thorn in Jobs' side. Rather, the iPhone hacker claims "it's just about the challenge" and plans to keep on keeping ol' Steve on his billion dollar toes.
“It feels like editing an English paper,” Allegra says simply, his voice croaking as if he just woke up, though we’re speaking at 9:30 pm. “You just go through and look for errors. I don’t know why I seem to be so effective at it.”
To the public, Allegra has been known only by the hacker handle Comex, and keeps a low profile. (He agreed to speak after Forbes‘ poking around Twitter, Facebook and the Brown Directory revealed his name.) But in what’s becoming almost an annual summer tradition, the pseudonymous hacker has twice released a piece of code called JailBreakMe that allows millions of users to strip away in seconds the ultra-strict security measures Apple has placed on its iPhones and iPads, devices that account for more than half the company’s $100 billion in revenues.
The tool isn’t intended for theft or vandalism: It merely lets users install any application they want on their devices. But jailbreaking, as the practice is called, violates Apple’s obsessive control of its gadgets and demonstrates software holes that could be exploited later by less benevolent hackers.
“I didn’t think anyone would be able to do what he’s done for years,” says Charlie Miller, a former network exploitation analyst for the National Security Agency who first hacked the iPhone in 2007. “Now it’s been done by some kid we had never even heard of. He’s totally blown me away.”
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.See that kid above? That's Nicholas Allegra. He's the hackdom Harry Potter... more
Remember that PDF exploit from last year that JailbreakMe 2.0 was using to unlock your iPhone with just a few taps? Well, Apple patched it. And now it's apparently back. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple acknowledged the exploit, and is working on an update at this very moment. In addition to the JailbreakMe 3.0 hack that came to light last week, the hole can also be used for some not-so-noble efforts, like grabbing your contacts database, accessing saved passwords, or activating your iPad or iPhone's built-in camera. And nobody wants that. For one reason or another, German authorities have taken the lead on encouraging Apple to investigate, and have also warned all users to avoid opening PDF docs from untrusted sources. And we're happy to echo that rather solid advice, given the implications.
Ironically, JailbreakMe includes a patch for the very hole that allows it to function in the first place, so if you're terrified that rogue PDFs will take over your devices, that's an option to consider in the meantime.
**Just jailbreak your iPhone then go into cydia and download PDF patcher. It should prevent malicious PDF from circumventing your phone.Remember that PDF exploit from last year that JailbreakMe 2.0 was using to unlock your... more
We had reported last week about the US Copyright office legalising ripping of DVD's and Jailbreaking into smartphones. Looks like the hackers took that part a little too seriously and released the iPhone 4 ...
http://itgrunts.com/2010/08/02/iphone-4-jailbreak-app-released/We had reported last week about the US Copyright office legalising ripping of... more