Apple Crippling iBooks On Jailbroken iPhone?

Chronic Dev Team

If you’ve jailbroken your iPhone using greenpois0n, Redsn0w then you might have noticed that you’re not able to open some eBooks using the iBooks app.

Comex, member of iPhone Dev team and developer of jailbreaking tools like JailbreakMe and Spirit has figured out what might be causing the problem.

Comex explains:

It seems that before opening a DRMed book, iBooks drops an improperly signed binary, tries to execute it, and if it works concludes that the device is jailbroken and refuses to open the book.

This is what the binary does:

int main() { return 42; }

and you get the following error message:

There is a problem with the configuration of your iPhone. Please restore with iTunes and reinstall iBooks.

This indicates that Apple is preventing DRM eBooks that have been purchased from the iBookstore to be opened from a jailbroken iPhone as an anti-piracy measure.

It is also important to note that it is not a new issue, iBooks always had these anti-piracy measures in place, but earlier jailbreaking methods were able to bypass these checks. However, jailbreaks like greenpois0n are disabling more restrictions, which is resulting in the protection code in iBooks getting triggered.

Unfortunately, in this case it is also preventing users who have legitimately purchased eBooks from the iBookstore from accessing them.

The goods news is that Comex has figured out a way to fix the problem. MuscleNerd of the iPhone Dev Team tweeted:

@comex did an amazingly fast job repairing the damage Apple did to iBooks on JB platforms (fairplayd is next cat&mouse?)

We’ll let you know as soon as the fix for the issue is released so stay tuned here at iPhone Hacks or follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Are you having problems using iBooks on your jailbroken iPhone? Please let us know in the comments section below.

[via Comex, MuscleNerd, pushfix]

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  • Hi, Well I’m using iBooks and everything seems to be ok.

    I just use it for my own epub books that I create with the software “Calibre”.

    • Richard

      That’s why Issaelk. Any book you purchased on Apple (like Winnie the Pooh) won’t open and you get an error message. Anything books that you imported through your iTunes library or Calibre works fine. I love Calibre its awesome and converts any format. I only have the one ebook from Apple, everything else I open in iBooks works fine.

  • U know


  • Andrew

    COMEX is awesome nice work man..

    • Lavender

      I mean I second this notion – great work Comex!

  • Happy face1973

    …and that is why I don’t make purchases (except Apps) from iTunes… I buy music/vids/books/etc from other sources.

    • YngJoe

      I agree. Buy your books from Amazon. Buy your music from Amazon. Get your purchases (except apps) from anywhere else but Apple. I love my iPhone, more so after jailbreaking it, but I do not enjoy their proprietary file system. I get all my music, books, etc from anywhere else I can. That way, I can listen to that music, read my books on any other device I want.

  • sam

    dev team just released pwnage tool for iOS 4.2.1 include fix for iBooks by @comex check it iphonehacks!!!!!

  • Richard

    Seems pretty lame for Apple to sabotage their own iBook interface. Preventing someone from opening books that were purchased from Apple is a great way to stop people from buying books from Apple. I think they may want to rethink this.

  • got$cr3w3d

    how about fixing the GPS issue with 6.15.00 on 3g’s and 3gs’s. Stupid baseband trick!

  • Tom

    Maybe it was unintenional you never know, but unlikely, still you gotta love apple

  • Keven

    I’m running 4.1 and I get the error but all I do is keep opening the book in iBooks and the file opens without anymore issues. Did anyone try this with the latest jailbreak on 4.2.1.? Will it work the same?

  • pal

    you would think apple would use this “feature” for apps that were pirated. not legit books. so are they telling us that its okay to pirate apps but it will cost you ibooks?

  • Umm Da Dum

    well done comex.

    we all comex alot for the hard work he puts into jailbreaks, fixes and keeping his fans upto date with what he doing next.

    hats off to ya. good honest hacker

  • KR

    Well I’m sure glad I cant read! Nothing to concern Me here : )

  • snowbreeze 2.2 is out

  • Key

    who the hell would bother trying to read an e-book an the iphone anyways….

  • johnny

    Yes, the ibook crashs when i up grade to the newest version, fu*king apple

  • gaalA

    ibooks crashes fixed in pwanage tool and sn0wbreeze
    check the official sites

  • fas

    Apple will murder the iPhone. They have lost it.

  • Crow

    Note to self, Apple hates people who read.

    • Melvarius

      Apple wouldn’t want their customers to become too inteligent. They might discover the meaning of the word “monopoly” lol.

  • Justaguy

    IBooks is for n00bs. They are so limited and it is the second worst piece of itunes (ping is the worst).

  • buzzdar

    the newest hunnypot fix dont work on vzw iphones

  • Jap

    Hmm apple just released an update for ibooks

  • Zang

    Best part? The few I have downloaded not on iTunes have been fine… Basically apple is only screwing themselves over as the store itself is limited yet you can download ebooks and pubs from other sources and they work perfect…

    Apple should seriously rethink their iBook notion in fact their whole jailbreak notion…

  • This jailbreak also seems to break photo uploading in the Facebook app.

  • Chris Wade

    I have not purchased any book through iBooks, I have downloaded some of the free ones, but if I am going to buy an eBook, I will buy it through Amazon, Kobo or one of the other cross-platform options, then if I need to replace my phone, I am not stuck with an iPhone.

  • Chris Wade

    Oh, also, I have my phone jailbroken and I upload photos via Facebook app all the time with no problems.

  • marine4ever

    Since using the greenpois0n JB update I have not been able to update Apps (unrelated to iBooks). Is this related to the iBooks issue? Will the greenpois0n iBooks fix also fix this issue? Thanks!