Apple recently hired prolific jailbreak hacker Nicholas Allegra, aka Comex. He is well known for his work on the web based jailbreak tool JailbreakMe. He was also the first person to publish a jailbreak for the iPad 2.

Comex’s hacking abilities have been compared to that of high-level cyber criminal that attacks government infrastructures. Being singlehandedly responsible for Apple releasing new versions of iOS to patch his exploits, many believed that Comex was hired by Apple to work on patching security vulnerabilities from the inside.

We’ve learned that Apple could have hired Comex for more than just his talent…

We’ve received word from an anonymous tipster inside Apple that Comex was mainly hired out of embarrassment. For years, the cat and mouse game between Apple and jailbreak hackers has raged on, with Apple releasing new iOS versions only to have the software exploited again by the brightest minds in the community.

Here’s what our tipster had to say:

“I hear we didn’t hire Comex for his skills, but to ensure that he won’t reveal embarrassing exploits anymore.”

If you think about it, this makes sense. Apple is a company built on a perfectionist mentality. Jailbreakers are a thorn in the side of Apple’s philosophy, and Apple has become more aggressive at patching uncovered exploits in recent months.

While it’s true that Apple has borrowed ideas and stolen talent from the jailbreak community for years, jailbreakers have continued to embarrass Apple with almost every iOS release. What’s most embarrassing to a company with billions of dollars in the bank and some of the most talented engineers in the world? How about a group of hobbyists, freelancing developers, and teenagers that hack iOS from their basements?

We find it very probable that Apple hired Comex for more than his abilities alone. What better way to slowly suffocate the jailbreak community than by taking away one of its most talented leaders?

What do you think? Has the jailbreak killer struck again?

  • Ehsan

    Its just an internship duh!

    • Juan Daniel

      Just an intership, yes. It makes more sense this way: think about the NDA he needs to sign now. He won’t be able to release his hacks even after his internship, either working or not for Apple. I think it’s a genius move from Apple…a lot cheaper than playing the cat and mouse game.

      • Yes, BUT….

        A NDA doesn’t stop a renegade!

        If he is not treated well at Apple and kicked out, don’t worry, he’ll ignore the NDA.

        The easiest way to work around the NDA, is funnel his work through a shill, possibly even better a shill that is offshore (i.e. Russia).

        – Eric

    • Mark

      comex said that he will not develop jailbreaks anymore, even after his internship is over.

  • Angi

    Best illustration ever 🙂

    • +1 😀 very cool!!!!

  • Jailbreak and the world

    We just won’t update if there’s no jailbreak O-o

    also there’s other hacker will make exploits

    just hope that comex will get a nice internship

    umm, to tell the truth, I also had an internship in my country for etisalat company, it was only training, I mean they will just let me know what is what, and where is where

    so maybe they might just let comex know what’s going on in apple, for future job

    just wanted o say 🙂

  • Juan

    There will be another bright young 20 year old hacker to take his place.

  • rob

    I doubt it was out of “embarrassment”. Everyone knows there’s no unhackable system. It’s just a matter of knowledge, time and dedication. They gave him the position because you keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

    • Erik

      I tend to agree with this thought. It’s a little convenient how he is an intern right before release of iOS5. This way they can end the internship after ios5 has been out for a while and if nothing less, they delayed a jailbreak. Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect for comex and it is still something for him to be proud of. I hope apple did do it with his best interest in mind. Just looks a little fishy.

  • Dan

    I agree with Rob. Also, wouldnt it scare comex into not helping the jailbreak community with exploits even after he’s finished with apple. Since they would probaly take him to court accusing him of using ‘inside knowledge they trusted him with’ for example.

  • Michael

    Apple really do piss me off, jailbreaking is legal yet they do everything to stop you from doing it, what is their problem with control, why do they try and alienate owners and potential buyers of Apple products by telling them exactly what they can do with the device, in most cases, they own. I paid £500 for my iPhone, unlocked and I expect to be able to send files via bluetooth, change themes, add on more memory .. Oh wait, I forgot, Apple don’t let you do any of that, instead they design the iPhone in such a way that gives you very little control over it and that is why they suck .. Don’t get me wrong, I love the aesthetics of the iPhone but I also love Android as an OS, the thing that lets them down is cheap, flimsy plastic.

    Why won’t Apple just stop trying to fight jailbreaking and instead implement a lot more features the iPhone lacks without being jailbroken, then maybe people wouldn’t even need to do it.

    • QuarterSwede

      It’s not that Apple is trying to stop jailbreaking. It’s the fact that to jailbreak an exploit (security hole) is needed. That’s what they’re pugging up.

      • bob

        You’re absolutely right. I think another side to it is piracy. It’s astonishing how rampant and easy it is on iOS.

  • Dan

    I agree with Rob. Also, wouldnt it scare comex into not helping the jailbreak community with exploits even after he’s finished with apple.
    Since they would probaly take him to court accusing him of using ‘inside knowledge they trusted him with’ for example.

  • Dan

    Ignore my double post.. Site said my first failed …

  • boscotherock

    Apple may have hired Comex to stop his exploiting, and made him sign an NDA, but that’s not going to stop him.

    If he was SMART, (which obviously he is) he would secretly develop exploits and sell them to others with an intent to make money. That way hes still an active member of the jailbreak community, just on the down low working through a middle man, so to say; sort of like a drug cartel.

    He could have had this in his mind all along, a secret scheme to get into Apple and get a closer look at everything exploitable, that way he can run this secret hack ring outside of Apple. Makes sense. Call me a conspiracy theorist, I don’t care. 🙂

    • Bob

      Do you really think this 19 year old kid is going to risk completely throwing his bright future away? That wouldn’t be smart at all, in fact that would be pretty damn idiotic. The kid is just a curious hacker, not a criminal. Nothing has led me to believe otherwise. In fact, didn’t he talk about trying to block installous from future jailbreaks? For such a devious mastermind, you’d think piracy would be the last thing on his mind.

      • QuarterSwede

        Exactly. Make a quick buck or put his skills to use for a company legally and make a LOT more money in the long run.

      • Meh

        That was Stefan Esser, was it not?

  • Trackrabbit

    “We’ve learned that Apple could have hired Comex …”

    It’s always interesting when news sources (or in this case, this blog entry) use purposefully vague information that can’t be quantified. Kinda takes the pressure off writing anything of substance and instead writing meaningless drivel.

    Of course Apple has a gain by Comex, even if for just an internship. You needed ‘an unnamed source’ to work that out? Just the sentence “Apple hired out of embarrassment’ is silly.

    Is there ever going to be a blog entry that wasn’t either a) copied from another site or b) simply made up for lack of anything else to write about ?

    • QuarterSwede

      I wish they’d separate they’re blog posts from their cydia apps/tweaks posts (the reason why I follow iDB). The blog posts are generally copy and pastes or terrible assumption pieces.

      • QuarterSwede

        gah! “their.” – Stupid inability to edit posts.

      • bob

        Agreed

  • Starwars quot
    Obi He was our only hope
    Yoda No there is another
    Or something like that

    He may have gone to the dark side
    But there is allways a skywalker for apples vader

    Gl comex you deserve this opportunity

  • rob

    Piracy is everywhere. It’s like speeding. And no matter what they do to try to stop it, it will never go away. I know people who pirate on iOS, and they have tons of garbage they’ll never use. I think it’s amazing that someone would steal a 99¢ app. However, it’s total bullshit that most people jailbreak to steal stuff. It’s just not true. Most people jailbreak to get tweaks that apple doesn’t allow.

  • Mark

    this is making apple go down down down. People wont update if there is no jailbreak, and people wont buy new devices if there is no jailbreak

    • bob

      Unfortunately the 10 million devices with cydia will have little impact on sales vs the total 250+ million iOS devices out there.

  • bob

    I never said most people jailbreak to steal stuff. However, it is enough of a problem to cause some damage and is arguably growing every day. I believe Dissident (hackulo.us) claimed installous had 3+ million users? I’m sure Apple’s priority is to plug exploits, but just because you can’t stop piracy, doesn’t mean they will turn a blind eye towards it, especially when it developers.

    I’m all for jailbreaking, I have too many apps and tweaks I’ve used daily or years to give it up. In fact, I don’t think I could even live without it since switching fully to google voice (phone/sms gv extension FTW). But, I don’t expect Apple to ever embrace it in it’s current state. At least they are starting to introduce (cough:steal:cough) some of our beloved features as iOS progresses. Slowly but surely…

  • MrA

    When people quote an “anonymous tipster inside Apple” all credibility goes out the window. Hell, everyOne has “anonymous tipster inside Apple” even me! Mine told me they hired him to be a janitor.

  • LT

    Apple should just hire the Chronic & Dev Team. That way there is no more jailbreaking in the community.

  • Daniel

    maby hell come out knowing more bout apple n make a new fake name and jailbreak all!!!

  • Josh

    You people are talking as if Comex was the only jailbreaker EVAR. I mean, yes, he is an important mind in the jailbreak community, but there are more and maybe smarter candidates out there (i.e GeoHot)

    • Geohot is no more my friend since his Sony law dealings he’s run and run far 🙁

  • Djttothee

    Well it’s bull anyway they stole one of the best jail breakers out there, F*** You apple

  • Bill Gates

    Comex … learn all their dirty secrets and then leave. I hate to say it, but if that is what Apple has done…leave now!

  • Mauricio

    I don’t think Comex will close all the ways to the others hackers, I don’t know, i think so ..

  • MrA

    +1

    But hey. Sites gotta get hits.

  • plazma_009

    Personally i dont think so, hes just 1 guy. There will undoubtedly be a new comex sometime. As the saying goes, theres always someone brighter and smarter.

  • Josh

    Good point. Apple did not sue GeoHot, though.

  • Anon

    Funny how iDB post garbage news like this, all because they have no recent news…

  • Steve

    MuscleNerd can’t unlock the i4