It looks like Apple is getting a bit more serious with the back and forth antics between it and the jailbreak community.

The latest casualty in the hacking war is iBooks, or more accurately, people that use iBooks.

Basically Apple has implemented anti-jailbreak measures in iBooks, and I have to admit, it’s kind of sneaky the way they pulled it off.

How’d they do it? Check inside for the video evidence…

Slyly, Apple has equipped iBooks with a procedure that attempts to run unsigned code. Bear in mind that this is the type of code that will only execute on a jailbroken iPhone.

Hence, if the code successfully runs, iBooks knows your iPhone is jailbroken, and sends you a nice little dialogue prompting you to restore your iPhone back to factory settings!

If it doesn’t run, then iBooks knows you’re working with a stock iPhone, and lets you open your book.

Keep in mind that these are all books that you legitimately purchased. It’s very annoying that I can’t read a book that I shelled out my hard earned money for just because I’ve jailbroken my iPhone.

But that’s another topic for another day; the point is, Apple looks to be continuing its efforts to discourage jailbreaking.

Something tells me the inability to read a book on a 3.5″ screen isn’t going to thwart the plans of the jailbreak community.

For the record, I’ve actually noticed this happening periodically ever since updating to iOS 4.0. No doubt all jailbreak tools will contain workarounds for this issue in the near future.

What are your thoughts on this ongoing saga?


  • G

    Downhill from here 

  • Koopa

    Im sure if its a real problem a Jail break app will become available to fix this so imho its not worth the worry

  • Javadave

    Who uses iBooks anyway? Kindle app is much more convenient with better selection.

  • khaosbane

    Don’t use iBooks anyways. I use B&N reader to buy and read books.

  • Night

    I use this app to read books, but I think the problem might not last that long, as I believe that some how apple refusing to let the app work just because you have jailbroken your phone IT IS NOT LEGAL due to the fact that jailbreaking IT IS LEGAL.

    I think that they will correct this before someone contact its lawyer.

  • No comments on my “Blogging For Dummies” cameo within the first 5 replies? You’re slow today iDB readers!

  • Chris

    This is BS. Jailbreaking is legal. Apple is now blocking me from viewing my legally purchased content.

    Let’s say I buy a house from Apple. Then I decide to paint the inside of my house florescent green. Then Apple drives by my house one day and looks in the window and sees the green walls. Apple doesn’t like my green walls, so they decide to block me from accessing my house and using everything inside that I bought and paid for.

    But Apple, you don’t own that house anymore…you sold it to me. It’s mine. I can do with it what I want. There are no laws that say I cannot paint the inside of my house green, just as there are no laws that say I cannot Jailbreak my iPhone.

    Time to get off this power trip.

    • And that folks, is how you use a good analogy. I agree. Apple has crossed the line a bit with this one. All it does is hurt legitimate purchasers of iBooks books.

    • EgoHot

      Best Comment of the Day!

    • Whammy!

      This is a horrible analogy. You don’t live in your phone, you still have access to your phone, they aren’t stopping you from using everything you own. They are simply trying to protect the rights of the people who create art; that’s it and that’s all. I wouldn’t exactly call that a “power trip.”

      DRM is shitty, but at the end of the day, the only problem is for people who choose to buy DRM laden goods – which you and I know better than to do. Moot point for power users, jailbreakers, et al.

      • EgoHot

        DRM is like sensor tags on merchandise. It doesn’t stop thieves from stealing, it only inconveniences the innocent.

        The problem with this iBooks issue is that it is inconveniencing those of us who have legitimately downloaded DRM’d iBooks and making it so that we can’t even open it. It’s not stopping piracy.

      • No Whammy

        I totally agree. Guess what, it’s your fault. You chose the wrong product. Maybe you’ll learn not to buy DRM’d stuff because of this.

  • james

    Jail breaking does not allow you to run unsigned code, that process is something else and should not be confused with this matter.

    • It’s “improperly signed” to be more correct.

  • james

    Cool. Still applies Jailbreaking does enable that to occur.

  • Cojendo

    Just worked for me. I was also thinking that it wasn’t a legal practice.

  • Misc

    It happens to me all the time and it’s so frustrating! Though it only happens to one of my books.. But I did find a way around it. Quit iBooks completely and end its process, then relaunch it. Open another book that works, close it, then change the view from bookshelf to list and open the desired book and it should work.

    I don’t know if that made sense to you, but try it a number of times and it should work.

    • EgoHot

      I followed your directions and it didn’t work for me.

  • RG

    mine is working fine, even with jailbreak, I don’t think its jailbreak related

    • EgoHot

      It IS jailbreak related and ONLY affects iBooks that have DRM

      this has been a known issue for months now.

  • AnotherBrian

    I have the problem too, I have only tried one book though. Free books seem to work fine, the couple I paid for won’t work. It doesn’t matter to me to much I will use Amazon, usually cheaper and better selection anyway.

  • babeh

    Gladly i abandon the ibooks because the sync process only via 1 itunes computer.
    Moving to fastpdf and Goodreader, Sync can be done with any itunes drag and drop, or iphone explorer, and the docs can be send to.

  • jbui1018

    This just makes the decision between buying from Kindle or iBooks easier for me. I bought a few books from iBooks, but no more.

  • Ai

    I’ve noticed this since 4.0 too. I didn’t pay much attention to it, since i rarely use ibooks. Definitely it will not stop people from jailbreaking their phone. It will only hurt their sale of books. If i were one who uses ibooks i would take apple to court!

  • iKing

    This is just wrong. How can you (apple) at the release of iOS 4.0 say that u care about your customers privacy but then almost a year later you pull this stunt. Just doesn’t make sense

  • William

    i think this only happen for those books that have been purchased from iBook store for a price.
    I only download free books from iBook store, and this never happen to me.
    However, the point is, now jailbreaking is 100% legal, and if user have purchased a book but Apple refuses to let him read it because the device is jailbroken, Does that give user the right to sue Apple’s ass?

  • Burge

    It does it on Winne the pooh book.. Yes I have that book , it’s a must lol…free book

    • Burge

      Sorry ( Winnie the pooh ) not Winne the pooh

  • manuel

    Seriously, if Apple doesn’t chill the F out, I’ll just go back to that crappy droid. At least it let me do what I wanna it to do without having to go months with out unlocks or jail breaks. If they don’t want to see their stock drop, and lose out on their iPhone shares, they will stop this BS and leave us JB’ers the hell alone. Not everything we do is for F’in pirating. They have no real reason to stop jail breakers other then pirating, and if that’s really the reason, they need to get their asses up and stop making the codes on the apps so easy to crack.

    Angry birds – cracked on the same day from Mac App store release
    The Incident – cracked 1 day after the Mac App store released
    Braid – cracked 1 day after Mac App store released.
    CoD 4 – cracked 3 days after it came out

    How? Same way, twitter files, and I’m only talking about the Mac App Store. To crack an Apple App, it’s the easiest thing to do.

    They security is a joke. Only reason why I got an iPhone is to Jailbreak and use what Apple failed to put in it. Things that make a phone a phone. No pictures in contacts? Seriously? Your new iOS 4 JUST got multitasking? You got new ringtones for contacts? JB makes your iPhone. Take that away, you lose me and I’m sure many will follow. Apple takes all their ideas from the JB community any freaking ways. They should be lucky they have us and we should charge their asses fees for us being there for them.

    Excuse me if I sound really hyped on this. I’m going through this kinda issue with Sony and them taking my rights away by not letting me do what I want to do with my own device too.

  • Burg

    Comex has got this sorted … No worries

  • ropelli90

    Is it just the DRM protected books? Do PDFs work fine?

  • Me

    If I was an adult, I’d have 2 reasons to sue Apple. One, not letting me read PURCHASED AND PAID FOR BOOKS! and for selling me an iTouch “3G” without telling me it was actually 2g cause it was 8gig. I mean, why not just buy a regular iTouch 2g for a cheaper price instead of a fake “3g?” Apple is just stupid and I dont like them and I never will(and I never did).

    • rob

      agreed, i bought a 2nd gen ipod touch thinking it was the “3rd gen” (i knew i was getting only an 8gb)…

  • DaPlumber

    Color me pissed at this abject stupidity. I knew about the DRM, but I found an author whose free stuff I liked and bought a few books by them. This was on the understanding that I’d treat it as a “disposable” purchase, like a magazine or a paperback I buy to read on a flight. Now I have the latest book and I can’t read it. Someone at Apple is real bad at math: I’m an early adoptee and I buy stuff apps, Cydia apps, and some iBooks. I refuse to buy music on iTunes because of the DRM/cost/control issue. Now iBooks is in the same boat. The “bad math” part? At a cost of around $5 per book I’ve spent way more in a few books than the apps I’ve bought which were almost all 99c. Even if someone in the JB community patches this I’m still not buying any more iBooks, I just hope the author I liked is on Kindle. Apple: you just lost the most profitable part of the non-hardware portion of a recurring revenue stream from a (probably) fairly typical high-value customer. Stupid! The iPhone is not a phone. It’s a handheld computer that can make phone calls. All that rich, profitable media stream is from the “computer” part of peoples expectations, not the “phone” part. Even if the majority of iPhone users don’t know to phrase it like that. Go ahead and research if the “average” iPhone owner thinks of and purchases apps, iBooks(!), and iTunes music like they do phone minutes. They don’t. This kind of tight control and trapped “gotcha” feeling is a major reason people loathe their telecommunications providers. Think different? NOT!

  • Kuipo

    Ok, this kinna worry me. And should others in the jailbreak community. If apple did it with iBooks , doesnt this mean they can do the same with other apps?? Even worse, iPhone native apps!!! Imagine trying to use goggle maps and being ask to restore your phone to factory settings!!! Maybe Thats not possible, or if it was, sure there would be a work around in a jailbreak tweak. But still, this will only slow down all our jailbreaking teams out there tryin to keep up with all the new updates and restrictions.

  • woojoo

    the scary thing is how simple the code is. apple can probably do things like this forever, and its not that we can’t work around it, its that itl take a while. If jailbreaking is legal, then THIS is definitely against jailbreaking, and is not legal. We should boycott ibooks!

  • Noisebag

    I dong know whats causing this error message with hout ibooks, but when reading this i was thinking backwards and realized I never came across this problem.
    I also have a jailbroken iPhone with 4.2.1 but my books works just like it should!
    Maybe something else is triggering this error on your site?

  • Go to and do a search on iBook. You will find a fix there to download a small file and open in ifile and then click the file and installer and then reboot your device and you are good to go.

  • 229Mick

    This is why I encourage clients to stay away from Apple products. They think they own things you buy from them. They think your job is to give them money and live within whatever constraints they wish to put upon you.

  • rodms

    I just Want to know how can i get my money back!!