The jailbreak community is in mourning. Brandon Azad, the extremely talented security researcher, responsible for discovering a number of tfp0 exploits for iOS, has left Project Zero to join the ranks at Apple.
Azad took to Twitter to make the announcement, confirming that he would be leaving Project Zero and joining Apple as early as “next week.”
It’s with both bittersweet sadness and excitement that I say goodbye to Project Zero, as I’ll be joining Apple next week to continue my work improving Apple device security. My time at Project Zero has been amazing, and it’s been an honor to share in this wonderful mission.
The tweet essentially confirms that Apple has hired Azad for the skills that he has exhibited on so many occasions whilst underemployment at Project Zero. A number of Azad’s exploits and vulnerability discoveries have formed the foundations of popular jailbreaks that have been used to liberate Apple devices. Those exploits were never discovered by Project Zero with the sole intention of contributing to a jailbreak but once they are out in the public domain, it’s open season on who uses them.
Azad’s work has made it into jailbreaks like Chimera, Uncover, and Electra. Now, however, it seems that Azad will be on the other side of the fence and actively working with Apple to minimize those vulnerabilities and improve device security with the intention of thwarting jailbreakers and making life a lot more difficult for security researchers.
It's with both bittersweet sadness and excitement that I say goodbye to Project Zero, as I'll be joining Apple next week to continue my work improving Apple device security. My time at Project Zero has been amazing, and it's been an honor to share in this wonderful mission.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has looked to the jailbreak community for help in improving its devices and software but it is definitely a huge blow for those passionate jailbreakers out there who rely on people like Brandon Azad feeding the machine with sophisticated exploits.
Azad signed-off with a second tweet, thanking his Project Zero teammates for the experience:
My teammates at Project Zero have been among the kindest and smartest people I've met, and I've learned so much from them. I'll really miss working alongside everyone on the team. Thank you all for these wonderful experiences, and keep on hacking!