What seems like Apple’s latest attempt to deter jailbreakers has emerged today after the company has blocked jailbroken devices from opening books purchased from the iBookstore. The latest version of iBooks – 1.2.1 – triggers a “jailbreak check” before it opens a DRM-protected book and then refuses to open it if it detects that the device is jailbroken.
The message some users are receiving when they attempt to open their iBookstore purchases reads:
There is a problem with the configuration of your iPhone. Please restore with iTunes and reinstall iBooks.
Clicking ‘OK’ on the error simply returns you to your book shelf within iBooks so that you can admire the front covers of all the books you’ve purchase but cannot read. It seems, however, that books and PDFs that aren’t purchased from the iBookstore, and therefore aren’t DRM-protected, can be opened and read as normal.
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.
At the moment it seems iBooks is the only application affected by jailbreaking an iOS device, and there are no system-wide issues to be reported. It’s believed that this move is part of Apple’s plan to minimize e-book piracy, however, what might be the next move the Cupertino company takes to thwart jailbreakers? If they can block a jailbreaker’s access to iBooks, could they block usage of the Safari, Mail, SMS, or Phone applications?
Of course, one easy way to get around this issue would be to install a previous version of iBooks…