Following the news that famed jailbreak hacker Comex was hired by Apple, many in the community called it the “beginning of the end” for jailbreakers. Apple is proving to be smarter than everyone thought. If you can’t beat ’em, hire ’em, right?

With iOS 5 set for a public release this Fall, the cat and mouse game between Apple and jailbreakers is not over. It’s only just beginning…

Apple has hired two notable jailbreak developers recently. First there was Peter Hajas, creator of an innovative iOS notifications replacement called MobileNotifier. While Hajas was not associated with exploiting actual jailbreaks, he was a prominent member of the jailbreak community.

As of a couple days ago, we broke the news that Nicholas Allegra (Comex) had been hired by Apple. Unlike Hajas, Comex was perhaps one of the most key jailbreak hackers currently active in the community. He is most famous for his web-based jailbreak called JailbreakMe. Comex was recently profiled by Forbes, and his work on JailbreakMe was compared to “that of Stuxnet, a worm thought to have been designed by the Israeli or U.S. government to infect Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Seen as one of the greatest minds in the jailbreak community, Comex’s employment at Apple is definitely a huge blow to jailbreakers everywhere — but it is by no means the beginning of the end for jailbreaking.

The two main groups for iOS hacking are the Dev Team and the Chronic-Dev Team. While the Dev Team is responsible for jailbreak tools like RedSn0w and PwnageTool, the Chronic-Dev Team is known for tools like GreenPois0n. The Chronic-Dev Team has taken a backseat to releasing new jailbreaks since iOS 4.2.1. However, both the Dev Team and Chronic-Dev Team are ready to continue exploiting iOS in the future.

Joshua Hill, better known as P0sixninja, is a prominent hacker and leader of the Chronic-Dev Team. He recently assured everyone on Twitter that the Chronic-Dev Team is not only here to stay, but also adding more talented hackers to its roster.

Yes, losing Comex is an awful loss for the jailbreak community. Is it the straw that broke the camel’s back? Absolutely not.

If you look at the Chronic-Dev Team’s website, 9 astute hackers are officially listed as being apart of the team. The Dev Team currently has 10 official members. There are also independent hackers like iH8Sn0w. (The teenage dev is responsible for a widely used jailbreak tool on Windows called Sn0wbreeze.) There are also plenty of unnamed contributors that help to make jailbreaks possible.

The extensive list of new features in iOS 5 indicate that Apple’s innovation takes a huge cue from the jailbreak community. Many of the new features in iOS 5 have been available to jailbreakers already, and Apple has been known to add features and innovations from jailbreak devs in the past.

Examples of continued jailbreak innovation in iOS 5 include the robust list of third party Notification Center widgets that have already been developed and showcased by jailbreakers on the iOS 5 beta. Apple has yet to open up access for developing third party iOS 5 widgets, and, like usual, jailbreakers have paved the path for others to follow.

iOS 5 is by no means the end of jailbreaking. Jay ‘Saurik’ Freeman has no plans to discontinue the development of Cydia. Hackers and developers are expressing more interest in jailbreaking, and the Dev and Chronic-Dev teams are committed to uncovering exploits in iOS.

When Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple, the Dev Team bid Steve farewell with a nostalgic message:

“The coolest cat. We loved the chase! Good luck, Steve. Signed, Jailbreakers and tinkerers everywhere.”

With Steve gone, the cat and mouse game definitely won’t be the same. But rest assured that it will continue.

  • Coach

    I’m glad you published that. That’s good new for all the people using jailbreaks. I will admit, I was a little scared. hahaha

  • Alex

    Great article

  • Mike

    It’s all good as long as they don’t go down the route of that douchbag Steffan Esser or whatever he’s called, with the whole charging for it and banning stuff like Installous .. Maybe Apple should have hired him with the attitude he has.

    • Brian

      +1 to that.

    • ic0edx

      He’s the biggest asshole in the world. I would never pay him a penny.

    • soccerkrzy

      YEAH! Down with the guy who’s against ILLEGAL pirating! What a douchebag!


      • Craig

        Not everybody who uses Installous does so just to avoid paying for things you asshole but you probably don’t download anything like movies, music, games etc without paying … Ye, as fucking if !!!


      • soccerkrzy

        @Craig: I don’t care what you use it for, it’s still illegal, which is what comex is against. Yes, the appstore should have a trial/return period. The fact is, they don’t, you may be one of the very very few that truly use an Installous app for a day, like it, then go buy it; but I highly doubt you are.

        It’s kind of pathetic you believe there aren’t people in this world who don’t illegally download. I happen to be content paying for what I want and staying within the legal law, so yea, as fucking if.

  • Anonymous

    It’d be nice if apple allowed jailbreaks. Clearly their software “innovations” consist of borrowed functions first adopted into the iPhone through jailbreaking. Isn’t it time they just admit they’re unable to meet the preferences and needs of every user of their products and allow individuals to do what they want on their own, owned, device while on the most recent implementation?

  • Anonymous

    It’d be nice if apple allowed jailbreaks. Clearly their software “innovations” consist of borrowed functions first adopted for the iPhone through jailbreaking. Isn’t it time they just admit they’re unable to meet the preferences and needs of every user?

  • Dan

    6th paragraph, “GreenPosi0n”. But good article nonetheless.

    • Thanks. Fixed.

  • Apple has benefited immensely from the jailbreak community – and they know it – they will never stop jailbreakers, they just want to make sure it stays safe for all users and keep out malicious jailbreakers who would hack the iOS and attempt to destroy it using some sort of malware.

    Luckily, recently iDB posted an article on how safe the iOS is including jailbroken iOS – which is still safer than being on Andriod!!! 🙂

    – Eric

  • Antish

    i’m waiting impatiently for iOS 5 to come out and Jailbreakers succeed to Jailbreak an unthethered version of it! 😛

  • Very good article, certainly reassuring.

  • soccerkrzy

    Until Apple perfects SMS by either stealing and implementing BiteSMS or SMS+, then I’ll definitely require a jailbreak. Also, custom theming is important to me.

  • Marcello

    If everyone is so committed to jailbreaking why is there no IOS 4.3.5 Jailbreak?

    • Hoges64

      No need. Why jailbreak a minor release firmware, burning an exploit that will get patched with the incoming iOS 5 release?

      Would you be happy if the dev teams used an exploit on the minor updated firmware 4.3.5, apple patch it for iOS 5 release, and the dev teams say “sorry, that was the only exploit we had. It’ll take months to find a new one and build software for it”.

      Then you’d be like all the other idiots who DEMAND a jailbreak solution as soon as the iOS is released and get upset when its not produced within a week.

  • Eldaria

    I wonder if it is a smart move for him to join as an Intern?

    I bet that he had to sign some contract, about secrecy and intellectual property.
    So if his internship does not turn into an actuall job, well he will not be able to go back and continue with the jailbreak scene without risking to get sued by Apple for using knowledge obtained during the time at Apple.
    Even if he is not using this knowledge, well Apple has more lawyers.

  • Mark

    things will be ok for us. Obviously, comex was only hired now because Steve left, so it probavly means that Cook has a heart for use tinkerers. Let’s hope he makes an iOS advanced feature or something like that for us power users, better known as Jailbreakers.

  • dilldo

    People only jailbreak because they want free apps instead of paying for them. Case in point: How many paid apps are on your phone that you actually paid for? If you really want to expand the OS to make it cooler, um, write you own. Otherwise, use Android. It’s open source, so knock yourself out.

    • Eldaria


      I have almost 400 apps that cost more money than the phone itself, and I paid full price for it.
      Not a single app is a pirated version that includes the Cydia apps that i paid for.
      I have been Jailbroken since day one almost 2 years ago.
      Yes I have had pirated versions, to try before I buy, especially really expensive apps like GPS apps.
      I tried out three different GPS apps before finally buying Navigon, but deleted all other pirated apps after testing them.

      So making a blanket statement that people only JB to run pirated apps, is bullshit, I Jailbreak so I can run the apps that I choose, not those that Apple choses for me.

      And using Android, well I was seriously considering it, but the selection of apps and accessories for the iPhone made me choose that instead.
      One major disadvantage with Android phones are that there will most of the time exist an iPhone dock, or something else, but how many cars are Android prepared, or how many speaker docks are there for Android?