updated 07:45 pm EST, Fri February 21, 2014
Role unspecified, but had reverse-engineered iOS, OS X for porting
A well-known hacker of OS X and iOS, who single-handedly rewrote the core of both operating systems to allow them to be ported to other devices and contributed to various jailbreak apps for iPhones, has announced that he will be joining Apple as an intern or employee later this year. The coder, known as "winocm," is 17 years old but already an expert reverse-engineer who says he has been doing "insane things" with the cores of iOS and OS X.
One of winocm's better-known feats was porting the kernel of OS X and iOS onto a Nokia N9000, creating what amounted to an open-source version of the operating systems at a command-line level. He also recently contributed to an iOS 6 jailbreak for older iPhones, and told Cult of Mac that the work he does by himself usually requires a full-fledged team of engineers. "It's really complex and hellish stuff," he said. "I had to basically do exactly what Apple did when they were making iPhone OS originally."
Winocm declined to reveal exactly what his role at Apple will be, but it likely has to do with security -- ironically closing the very flaws that allow jailbreaking code to be inserted into iPhones and iPads. He is not the first high-profile hacker to jump ship and join Apple -- a number of jailbreak and security "testers" have done the same: the former creator of "Jailbreak Me," Nicholas Allegra, took an internship at Apple in 2011, for example.