Method patching on iOS applications


These are the steps needed to crack (method patch the jailbreak function) an iOS application to work on a rooted iOS device. This example uses “” from within OSX Lion. Mileage may vary.


iOS Physical device rooted with cydia and some basic tools:

  • syslogd – See all console output in /var/log/
  • openssh
  • adv-cmds – Tools like ps, kill, etc
  • GNU debugger – (If GDB is working unexpectedly, install from
  • Darwin CC Tools – otool and such

Get the application and install it. This guide is assuming an encrypted IPA (compiled for ARM) distribution.


In the cases in which the binary is encrypted, you must decrypt. The easiest way to do this is to find a program to do it for you (Google this if you want to skip this step). The surefire (manual) way  to do this is to execute the binary breaking at the end of the decoding stub. This will leave the entire un-ecrypted binary in memory where you can then dump it to disk.

Locate application binary within the application folder on the device. e.g.:


Then check application for encryption:

root# otool -l SampleApp | grep -B5 cryptid
Load command 11
 cmdsize 20
 cryptoff 4096
 cryptsize 94208
 cryptid 1

Given cryptid 1 (0 == Not Encrypted). Keep note of the cryptsize, we will use this value later.

Verify application is not FAT (That is does not contain multiple versions):

root# otool -f SampleApp

If the application contains multiple versions, you must use lipo to extract the correct (armv7) version and continue.

Given a single encrypted binary:

root# gdb --quiet -e ./SampleApp
(gdb) set sharedlibrary load-rules ".*" ".*" none
(gdb) set inferior-auto-start-dyld off
(gdb) set sharedlibrary preload-libraries off
(gdb) rb doModInitFunctions
Breakpoint 1 at 0x2fe0cece
<function, no debug info> __dyld__ZN16ImageLoaderMachO18doModInitFunctionsERKN11ImageLoader11LinkContextE;
(gdb) r
Starting program: /private/var/mobile/Applications/BC2DA09D-7189-44E8-B190-2EE03BAAAAA8/
Breakpoint 1, 0x2fe0cece in __dyld__ZN16ImageLoaderMachO18doModInitFunctionsERKN11ImageLoader11LinkContextE ()

Dump the binary from memory to disk:

dump binary memory /var/root/dump 0x2000 0x18000

See python -c ‘print(hex(4096+94208))’ from crytpid analysis for the end limit, which is 0x18000 bytes in the example. You will have to substitute your own value in.

Then pull the binary off phone and use classdump

scp root@iphone:/var/root/dump ./SampleApp
./class-dump SampleApp > SampleAppDump

Examine dump for a root checking function (probably returns BOOL or _Bool) with some grep-fu. You will most likely find multiple functions. If the application is more complicated, cycript may help you find it.


You can either follow my other instructions on compiling iOS libraries using Theos (Reccomended!), or do the following:

Install MobileSubstrate on the iOS device. You can check if it’s installed by looking for /Library/MobileSubstrate.


Checkout CaptainHook into the project into the project. Mine is called NoCheck saved in ~/Documents/workspace

user@box> cd ~/Documents/workspace/NoCheck/NoCheck
user@box> git clone git://

Write the code itself using the lib. This sample code was referenced from the MDSec iOS doc. Read it if you haven’t.

#import "NoCheck.h"
#import "Foundation/Foundation.h"
#import "CaptainHook/CaptainHook.h"
#include "notify.h"

@implementation NoCheck
    if ((self = [super init])){} return self;

@class SampleAppViewController;
CHOptimizedMethod(0, self, _Bool, SampleAppViewController, isDeviceRooted)
    NSLog(@"####### isJailBroken hooked"); // Logging saves lives
    return true;

CHConstructor {
    @autoreleasepool {
        CHHook(0, SampleAppViewController, isDeviceRooted); // register hook


All is needed now compile to dylib by running the application and copying it over. Press the run button to compile. Find it by looking at the left hand bar, mine was located at /Users/user/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData/NoCheck-abheoijxmwkxefbirkgyhsismoxg/Build/Products/Debug-iphoneos

Copy the output file to /Library/MobileSubstrate/DynamicLibraries/

user@box> cd /Users/user/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData/NoCheck-abheoijxmwkxefbirkgyhsismoxg/Build/Products/Debug-iphoneos
user@box> scp ./NoCheck.dylib root@iphone:/Library/MobileSubstrate/DynamicLibraries/

Run application and be happy. If you’re not sure it worked tail your syslog output to see if the module is loading (it will do so often) and the NSLog is output.

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