Former iPhone jailbreaker Comex loses job at Apple

Former iPhone jailbreaker Comex loses job at Apple

Summary: A hacker hired by Apple, in recognition of his skills in breaking iOS, has lost his job after simply forgetting to reply to an email.


iPhone jailbreaker turned Apple intern, Nicholas Allegra has lost his job at Apple after simply forgetting to reply to an email from the Cupertino, California-based company.

Allegra, who is better known by his online handle, Comex, tweeted "As of last week, after about a year, I'm no longer associated with Apple."

"As for why? Because I forgot to reply to an email."

Comex told Forbes that the email he forgot to reply to was an offer to extend his employment as a remote intern, but after not getting back to Apple promptly, the company withdrew the offer and Comex found himself without a job.

Comex made a name for himself by creating one of the first web-based services that would automatically jailbreak an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, simply by visiting a specially crafted website. Jailbreaking such devices requires finding a vulnerability that, once exploited, escapes the iOS sandbox and allows unlimited access to the underlying operating system. Before Comex's tool, this task could be cumbersome to achieve.

However, not only did Comex turn the vulnerability into a way to jailbreak the devices, he also provided a patch to close the vulnerability and secure devices against malicious users.

Apple appeared to take note of Comex's talent, offering him a position as an intern at the company in August last year, much to the disappointment of the jailbreaking community, some of whom saw the jump to the other side as an act of treason.

Comex still appears to be taking flak for his past decision, even though he now no longer works for Apple, tweeting that "anyone who thinks I 'sold out' for money, doesn't know what he's talking about."

Topics: Apple, iOS, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • old new punk

    old news ! welcome the make jailbreakME 4.0 and have your apple fans donate for $$
  • There is no such thing as "simply" forgetting to reply to an electronic ..


    It is an absolute must for a workflow that employees have to reply to mail for other employees.

    And Apple's mail system built that way that if employee has even slightest idea about his/her basic responsibilities, there is no way he/she could "forget" about it. So I am not sure about "forgetting" explanation.

    Also, hackers could be incredibly talented people, but this is sometimes not enough to work at a company -- *discipline* and respect to colleagues are required. And sometimes hackers have somewhat anarchic ways of doing things, which is incompatible with any corporate culture.

    Yet "Comex" might learn from his mistakes and work more diligently for his next employer.
    • eccentricity

      I'm astounded by the basic life skills and well-roundedness that the badass mathematicians lack. They seem to discard the pursuit of commonsense logic, and they are unable to reapply their reasoning skills to their own basic needs. Check out the eccentricity of some of these guys on quora:
      Brian Croner
    • This is foolish

      This is a great example of a time-wasting culture.
      We have managers for a reason - bother them.
      Martha Stewart's methods of doing business come to mind - look-up what she expects from her managers. Their *purpose* is to deal with the esoteric people and extract useful work from them.
      Willingness to do what your competitors are not owns the market.

      An automated email is the critical path for employment?
      A person doesn't keep track of this employee nor what they are doing?
      Food for thought if you own that $600+ Apple stock.
    • That's so true - Apple can do no wrong. Even if the email never got through

      because of a technical issue, it's still the fault of the end user for not knowing that someone from Apple wanted to send him an email.

      But then maybe, just maybe Dennis, you might learn that Apple is not the Kingdom of God.
      William Farrel
  • There are a thousand excuses, technology behind email is not perfect

    Allegra can claim his reply was stuck in his outbox and he was in fact waiting for a reply regarding his acceptance of contract extension.

    Stuck in outbox always works, at least for me when my boss gets upset of my late emails.
    This is a common occurence in MS Outlook, but Allegra might be fired even sooner if his boss discovered that he is using Outlook and giving this excuse. : )
    • A common occurence in MS Outlook?

      Are you still using using Outlook 97? ;)
      William Farrel