Kindle 3.1 Jailbreak


In the constant battle of manufacturers vs. jailbreakers, the turnaround time between a new software release and a new jailbreak seems to be getting shorter and shorter. [Yifan] noticed that a recent Kindle update broke a previous method of running unsigned code and started the search for a new workaround.

He eventually found a way to force the Kindle to run unsigned code based upon how the software update checked for digitally signed files. With that knowledge in hand, he discovered that he could trick the updater to run any file he wanted by exploiting the standard functionality found in the Unix ‘cat’ command.

On his site, [Yifan] provides more details, source code, and a compiled update file that performs the jailbreak for you. Much like the previous jailbreaks we have featured, it is perfectly legal to do, but you do risk voiding your warranty during the process.

[Picture via]

15 thoughts on “Kindle 3.1 Jailbreak

  1. The only real advantage of kindle for me is 3G access for free in most of the country….

    It would be nice if jailbreaking it lead to able to install a nicer web browser… (or lynx hehe)

  2. Wait, how is this legal? It’s not a phone and doesn’t really fall into the other categories. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be legal, just wondering why its okay but rooting a PS3 isn’t?

  3. To my knowledge no jailbroken Kindles have been banned from the whispernet. At the moment I don’t think it’s in Amazon’s interest to do the banning, since jailbreaking is not related to doing anything to ebook’s DRM, so all they’d be doing is stopping possible further book purchases. Of course if someone both figures out how to and actually does do something like, eg, use whispernet in an “unacceptable to Amazon” way that might change. Luckily all the jailbreakers have the goal of making it possible to do things to improve the user experience rather than take advantage of amazon.

  4. @Colecago

    I believe it IS perfectly legal to jailbreak a PS3. What is illegal is distributing the encryption keys.

    Most devices get jailbroken through software bugs and not encryption keys.

    Whether a company pursues you for distributing the keys is up to the individual company. Sony has to show a strong response otherwise game developers are going to quit developing for the platform due to piracy and hacking.

    Even if Sony doesn’t actually eliminate the issue, it shows the publishers they are more willing to spend the money to defend publishers against piracy and users that they are willing to defend against multiplayer hacking.

    With a device like the Kindle, there is no significant disadvantage to a jailbroken device other than the 3G (which they have every right to restrict or ban abuses of). I doubt they want it to be too easy to do because of increased warranty claims, people who don’t know what they are doing jailbreaking the device, etc.

    The DRM on the e-books themselves has been broken for a long time so that isn’t an issue directly related to jailbreaking so if anything this increases their sales of devices and books.

    Now, if people abuse the 3G and start downloading huge files I suspect they might start banning access to the internet over the 3G link. Hopefully if they do this their own servers will still be on the whitelist.

  5. @Jared555:

    An encryption key is just a number. Do you think it is illegal to distribute numbers?

    DMCA makes this somewhat of a thorny issue, but when framed this way (or outside the USA) I don’t see how distributing the keys could possibly be ruled illegal. Other parts of the PS3 jailbreak process might be, however, depending on interpretation.

  6. any other file) can also be expressed as a (very long) number.

    Thanks for that, I agree and all legal attempts to define ideas in bits/bytes are doomed to fail on logic grounds. The law is an ass here, and should be contested at every stage.

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