[nSLUG] User agent spoofing

J. Paul Bissonnette jpaulb at eastlink.ca
Mon Jan 22 12:34:27 AST 2007

Oliver Doepner wrote:

> Hello,
> I have just tried to access the infamous "Login to Business Centre" at 
> Canada Post again. The site tries to detect the browser based on the 
> user agent string and apparently it only allows IE and Netscape on 
> Windows OS.
> Good news: It can be tricked using user agent spoofing.
> Bad news: I could only make it work in Konqueror.
> Here are my results for Konqueror, Opera and Firefox:
> Konqueror:
> With the default Konqueror user agent string I get redirected to their 
> forbidding "browser error" page:
> https://sso-cal.canadapost-postescanada.ca/sso/browser_error.htm
> I configured Konqueror's "Browser Identification" setting for the site 
> sso-cal.canadapost-postescanada.ca to "Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 
> XP" and was admitted to login.
> The literal user agent string that Konqueror used was "Mozilla/4.0 
> (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)".

Do not use KDE I'm no help there

> Opera:
> With Opera there is no option to spoof the OS part of the user agent 
> or even specify a completely user-defined string. All I could do in my 
> Opera 9.02 was the following:
> Identify as Internet Explorer:
> Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; X11; Linux i686; en) Opera 9.02
> Mask as Internet Explorer:
> Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; X11; Linux i686; en)
> Both times the OS would still be X11 on Linux and I was not allowed to 
> enter the site.

Opera 9.10 has the same settings, a real pain

> Firefox:
> Firefox has no feature for setting the user agent on a per site basis. 
> There is a about:config setting "general.useragent.override" to 
> globally change the user agent string, though.
> I set it to the same string that worked in Konqueror and the but for 
> some reason I could not make it work.
In foxfire or iceweasel try Tools -> add-ons, search for the one called 
user agent switched. After it is downloaded and installed there is the 
choice of IE 6 for windows XP, Netscape 4.8 or Opera 8.51 both foe XP.

Login at the ceter is then possible

> cheers
> Oliver
I wrote complaining about the problem, stating that their competition 
(Fedx, UPS, Canpar) were Linux friendly. Here is the answer for what it 
is worth.

Hi Paul,
Currently our Electronic Shipping tool only supports Navigator and Internet Explorer, which doesn't help you unfortunately.
We are in the process of upgrading our entire infrastructure to make other browsers available as well. We hope to have this completed by mid 2007. This is a 
massive undertaking which cannot be done overnight.
If you are able to use Navigator or Internet Explorer, here are the requirements.
The Electronic Shipping Tools (EST) supports Netscape Navigator version 4.7, or greater and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.5,


Normand H. Arsenault

Normand H. Arsenault
Manager, Consumer & Small Business Marketing 
Phone: 613-734-6318
Fax: 613-734-7542
email: normand.arsenault at canadapost.ca

>From anywhere... to anyone * De partout... jusqu'à vous 
www.canadapost.ca     www.postescanada.ca


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