Apple has gone to extraordinary lengths to find someone to fill a software engineering post by hiding a job listing on its website. A journalist who covers cyber-security accidentally found the hidden Apple job listing, however, and proceeded to tell everyone about it.
Well, it seems the cat’s out of the bag now.
ZDNet security editor Zack Whittaker found the hidden Apple job listing on the iPhone maker’s website when he was analyzing some information that iPhone apps send to advertisers.
The ad declares, “Hey there! You found us. We are looking for a talented engineer to develop a critical infrastructure component that is to be a key part of the Apple ecosystem.” It then goes on to list other details one would expect to find in a job listing, such as qualifications and a full description of the position.
There’s no word on whether Whittaker took Apple up on its job offer, given that he did find the hidden job ad, although he said that he didn’t apply for the position. He explained that the iPhone maker isn’t looking for him, but rather, “someone who’s far smarter and qualified and who has better office etiquette.” He says that the ad has now either been removed or moved someplace else on Apple’s website. The company removed the job listing after Whittaker reported about its existence, and that first report quickly spread throughout the tech blog-o-sphere.
In a post for ZDNet, he explained how he found the hidden Apple job listing. He explained that it was posted on one of Apple’s “publicly accessible but hidden servers,” which host data “on millions” of the iPhone maker’s customers all across the East Coast of the U.S. He tweeted a screenshot of the hidden job listing which was quickly picked up by several blogs that are focused on Apple news.
Whittaker explained that he found the job listing using Burp Suite, which analyzes traffic to intercept data between a number of iPhone apps. The analyzer examines the data to see what types of personal data is getting transferred to advertisers. One of the many outbound connections he found while using the traffic analyzer was to a “blobstore” server Apple uses to host some of the data for iCloud, like photos and videos saved to iCloud by users.
He simply entered the web address into a browser to see where it went, and that’s when he found the job listing. According to Whittaker, “little proficiency” was needed to find that page, “but it was still nice to have been asked to ‘get in touch’ with my resume.”