George Hotz, Facebook's New Hacker

Josh WolfordIT Management

Share this Post

George Hotz, famed iPhone hacker and target of Sony's lawsuit machine, has apparently gotten a new job working for Facebook.

The news first started as rumor reported on by TechUnwrapped but eventually was confirmed by Facebook to multiple sources. Facebook hasn't yet specified what Hotz will be doing for the company, only stated that he is now on the payroll.

The 21-year-old is also known as Geohot and gained fame back in 2007 when he unlocked the iPhone, allowing it to run on any network. He eventually traded the hacked gadget for a Nissan 350Z.

More recently, he just ended a long battle with Sony over his hacking of the PS3. After successfully jailbreaking the console, he disseminated his methods online. Sony threw a fit and eventually won a restraining order against Hotz. He was barred from further distribution of his techniques on the web and was also forced to surrender his computers to Sony. This made some people a little bit angry.

Anonymous launched OpSony party becuase of how Sony treated "fellow hacker GeoHot." They released a statement accusing Sony of "abusing the judicial system in an attempt to censor information."

A few months after the restraining order, Hotz and Sony quietly settled the matter and released a joint statement that failed to go into much detail. Hotz then said he was "happy to have the litigation" behind him.

Here's some of the Twitter response, and boy is there a lot -

I really don't understand all the Geohot hate. What did he do wrong? I'm sure he's laughing his way to the bank at any rate. 15 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Facebook hired George Hotz - trying to keep the pirates at bay? 5 hours ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

Wow, talk about keeping your enemies close! Facebook hires infamous hacker: via @mediabistro 1 hour ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

GeoHot, the guy that kickstarted the Playstation 3 hacking frenzy, was recently hired by Facebook. Let that be a lesson to you all. 17 minutes ago via Twitter for Android · powered by @socialditto

I guess the big question is why? For Facebook, were they simply impressed by his talents and grabbed him to fill their team with the best people around? As many have suggested, is it a keeps your enemies closer type of thing? Maybe they hired the hacker to help tighten up their own security?

One speculation is that he may have been brought on to aid in developing Project Spartan, an HTML platform that would take on Apple's App Store. Others say that its possible that Hotz will be working on the new Facebook app for the iPad.

Whatever the reason, it's clear that Facebook has chosen to embrace the hacking culture. Years ago they hired Chris Putnam, another hacker that created a way to face Facebook resemble MySpace. After tracking it to him, they offered him a job. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf