Reverse engineering anything is not itself illegal, it depends how you go about doing it, many companies build interoperability into their software or systems using reverse engineering because the documentation is not out there to support legitimate development. Reverse engineering, esp. in the states has long been seen as a driver for competition, with it being supported in a number of cases by the Supreme Court, however may, if done incorrectly stray into patent infringement. It is obvious to anyone with access to Google that simply reverse engineering, and/or hacking into a system is far from illegal, it depends who owns that system (for example hacking into your own computer is fine, hacking into the governments is clearly a big no). Also why would anyone want to pay someone who is working on the iPhone to open it up specifically to them? Seriously, where is organised crime's benefit in this, none, nothing
Ultimately most major IT firms hire people capable of breaking into their system, why? Because if they are breaking into their own systems they can fix them before these securities holes are widely found and exploited, if someone else is breaking into them no one knows what they're going to do. There are plenty of examples of people being very successful at hacking systems, even if their goals were far from the companies own goals, if I remember correctly the individual behind the most popular Dreamcast boot loader was offered a job at Sega.
It is quite disturbing that some people assume that people who do this are highly corrupt, there are plenty of people out there who want to understand who item x or y works without any further desire to do anything, I expect the sole reason this job is still open is that no one with the relevant skills has presented themselves in the correct light for Apple to hire them, have you not considered that a lot of people currently digging through the iPhone in their spare time don't already have better jobs? Simply don't want to work for Apple? Or don't live in the US? I think it's unlikely that any sort of fear of walking into the interview and immediately getting bundled to the ground by the police and dragged off to jail is preventing the qualified candidates who can apply, applying.