The jailbreak community lost a valuable resource on Friday, when renowned hacker and security researcher Brandon Azad, known for his involvement with Project Zero and for his work in discovering tfp0 exploits for both iOS and iPadOS, was hired by Apple.
Azad made the shocking announcement Monday afternoon via Twitter, noting that the bittersweet transition to Apple’s side of the security research fence would begin as soon as next week:
For those who are unaware, a number of Azad’s tfp0 companies were instrumental in creating several popular jailbreak tools in recent memory, including Chimera, Electra and unc0ver to name a few. Some of these exploits included voucher_swap and oob_timestamp to name a few.
At a time when jailbreaking seemed to be dying, Azad assumed the role of a beacon of hope for society. His countless exploits made it possible for Electra Team, Chimera Team and unc0ver Team to pull it together and continuously update the prison breaches with new firmware support. Other prominent hackers of course contributed with several other occasions, but for now we will primarily focus on Azad.
Azad’s departure from the private hacking scene could not have come at a more desperate time as iOS and iPadOS 14 appear to have implemented new security mechanisms that will make it more difficult for them to develop prison breaks. Apple’s acquisition of the talented security researcher could also mean more secure updates to iOS and iPadOS in the future.
As gloomy as things may seem to the jailbreak community at first glance under these circumstances, it’s important to remember that we’ve all been here before – do you remember the Apple snagged comex? And yet, here we are all, with the checkm8 bootroom exploit and a host of other tfp0 exploits to go around.
The beating heart of the jailbreak community continues to beat strong, and several jailbreak teams continue to support modern prison crimes, including checkra1n, odyssey and unc0ver. More recently, another Tweet made headlines, suggesting that we could potentially see another jailbreak in the city very soon.
The moral of the story is this: Yes, we lost some serious talent to Apple today. On the other hand, there is no shortage of talent in the jailbreak society today, and with a little teamwork, there is nothing that talent can not do. After all, nothing is completely un-hackable. Some people always seem to find a security hole in everything, no matter how “safe” Apple’s marketing team makes things sound.
Some judges disagree with me, but the story is on our side. That said, as I congratulate Azad on his new concert, I’m still optimistic that it will not be the end of things for the jailbreak community.
What do you think about Apple acquiring talent from the jailbreak community? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.