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Friday, September 16, 2011, 02:30 pm PT (05:30 pm ET)

Well-known iPhone ‘jailbreak’ hacker visits Apple campus for unknown reasons

iPhone Dev Team prominent hacker MuscleNerd confirms visit to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, sparking speculation that the iPhone maker may be interested in hiring another figure of the unofficial iOS jailbreaking community.

Not known by his real name, but very popular with iOS device users for his iOS hacking work as part of the iPhone Dev Team, MuscleNerd attended Intel’s IDF Conference in San Francisco.

The hacker, BusinessInsider reported , made a visit to Apple’s campus in Cupertino during that period, although the purpose of his visit is not known at this time.

MuscleNerd posted an image on his Twitter account, currently followed by over 230,000 people, showing a t-shirt that reads: “I visited the Apple campus. But that’s all I’m allowed to say.” Also noticeable in the same image is an Apple nametag showing his screen name, “Muscle Nerd,” instead of the real name.

Accompanying the image is a short tweet detailing the visit: “well this afternoon sure was fun… (what a great company!)…,” but the hacker doesn’t go into further specifics regarding a possible employment with Apple.



This news comes just a few weeks after iOS hacker “Comex” confirmed his new status as a future Apple intern.

19-year old Nicholas “Comex” Allegra, also a well-known persona in the iOS universe, was offered an internship with Apple recently. Known for his efforts into devising and developing new ways of jailbreaking various generations of iOS devices, including the iPad 2, Allegra confirmed he would not pursue such hacking endeavors in the future.

Comex and MuscleNerd, single-handedly or working with other iPhone Dev Team members, have provided in recent years various jailbreak solutions for iOS devices such as iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV.

Such a procedure, legal in the USA under 2010 DMCA, is meant to allow users to gain full access to the operating system and install unsupported iOS applications that wouldn’t be otherwise available in the App Store and tweak current existing apps without Apple’s permission.

Apple however doesn’t support the procedure and maintains the fact that jailbreaking iOS devices leads to voiding the product’s warranty. The company’s effort to block jailbreaking attempts and patch the security holes that permitted them has recently been praised by the iPhone Dev Team in a short blog post following Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO last month. “We loved the chase! Good luck, Steve,” the Dev Team noted at the time.

Despite its continued opposition to iOS jailbreaking, the company has also recently hired Peter Hajas, an iOS developer known for his work on an alternative notification system for jailbroken iPhones. His innovative solutions were demoed before Apple introduced a totally revamped notification system that will be available to users in the forthcoming iOS 5 mobile OS version.

Besides jailbreaking, the iPhone Dev Team is also responsible for offering iPhone unlocking solutions to smartphone users interested in bypassing Apple’s protocols that keep the handset locked to a specific carrier.

Should MuscleNerd join Comex and pursue a career with Apple, the jailbreaking community may be “significantly crippled” in the months to come, BusinessInsider notes.

Until now, all current iOS 5 beta versions have been jailbroken with various software solutions including the ones offered by the iPhone Dev Team. Apple is expected to launch the final iOS 5 version in early October with the iPhone 5 release following shortly after that.