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sdfox7

Spoofing Firefox 53 (and newer versions) on Windows 2000 and XP

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NOTE: I originally posted this in the 2000 forum, but it would also be useful duplicated here since XP has such a large user base.

As we know, most websites have artificial browser requirements for using their website. Firefox can be spoofed easily on Windows 2000 and XP. I don't recommend Chrome for spoofing, because 1) Chrome does not really work well on 2000, and 2) Chrome can only store user agent changes temporarily, while the Developer Console is open.

By visiting Citibank's website with Firefox 48 (last working on Windows 2000), it says the browser is out of date and not supported.

citi_ff48_1.jpg

So, we go into about:config , create a string value called general.useragent.override , and make the value Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:53.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/53.0

This tells the browser to report Windows XP, and Firefox 53.0. Again, we know that XP cannot really support Firefox 53.

citi_ff48_2.jpg

After saving, reopen Firefox and go back to Citibank's website. The outdated browser warning is gone. This proves an artificial browser warning.

citi_ff48_3.jpg

Also, if you visit a website to check the browser, it reports that it is Firefox 53 on XP, even though we know we are running Firefox 48 on Windows 2000.

This trick will also be useful on XP, since Firefox will not be updated past version 51 going forward.

citi_ff48_4.jpg

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For a repeated test the cookies in the webbrowser for this website must first be deleted!

:)

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Interesting. I've been starting to run into this issue on certain sites while using Firefox, and some even go as far as to deny access to the site entirely. This is an excellent workaround!

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On 5/18/2017 at 10:59 AM, TrevMUN said:

Interesting. I've been starting to run into this issue on certain sites while using Firefox, and some even go as far as to deny access to the site entirely. This is an excellent workaround!

Yes. I understand that websites may not want to officially support old browsers and operating systems. That being said, intentionally blocking them is silly. Block= lost advertising revenue.

I support the concept of graceful degradation: W3C: Graceful degradation versus progressive enhancement

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Fully agreed. For my resume and portfolio site, I focused on using HTML5 and CSS3 with a responsive, mobile-friendly layout, but I also tried to design it in such a way that the site remains usable in older browsers. I tested it as far back as IE6 and it remained usable, albeit looking and behaving quite differently.

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This spoof works on SM 2.0.14 without browser restart or cookies reset. Tested with javascript disabled on Win98se+KernelEx. Retested with JS on:

Overview

firefox.png
Firefox 53.0 on Windows 98se+KernelEx

Details

Browser Firefox
Browser Version 53.0
User Agent String Mozilla/5.0 (Windows 98se+KernelEx; rv:53.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/53.0
OS Type Windows
OS Name Windows 98se+KernelEx
Capture Time 2017-05-22 23:34:08 UTC
Javascript true
Cookies true
Color Depth 16
Screen 1280 x 1024
Browser 1262 x 870
Flash 9.0.47
Java false
Language en-US



Edited by jumper
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On 5/18/2017 at 10:59 AM, TrevMUN said:

Interesting. I've been starting to run into this issue on certain sites while using Firefox, and some even go as far as to deny access to the site entirely. This is an excellent workaround!

This spoof is also useful if you have a legacy system laying around with a processor that doesn't support SSE2, such as the Pentium III or older, and the AMD processors older than the Opteron and Athlon64.

Firefox 48.x and 45.9.0 ESR are the final versions that support SSE processors, so this spoof could come in handy.

mfx53nosse.jpg

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"aboutmybrowser" - Firefox 46.0 on Windows XP x64 Edition

LOL! Firefox 46.01 on Server 2003 SP2 x86

But thanks for the "spoof" information. Bookmarked.

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42 minutes ago, submix8c said:

"aboutmybrowser" - Firefox 46.0 on Windows XP x64 Edition

LOL! Firefox 46.01 on Server 2003 SP2 x86

But thanks for the "spoof" information. Bookmarked.

XP 64 and Server 2003 have the same kernel, 5.2.3790.

Further complicating matters, Firefox 46 runs on both 32 and 64 bit variants of both operating systems, (Firefox 46 system requirements) so I suppose that "aboutmybrowser" just picked one!

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Even further OT, once some odd years ago, RoadRunner support insisted knowing my OS when I had already proven their interface was bad. Even my 98SE would no longer connect. Same hardware. In frustration, I said "XP" because it was none of their business I was running a server. Turns out, it was their hardware that went belly up. I so love ISP's generic tech support (looks in handbook - "Try turning it off then back on"). Again, good find!

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I future proofed myself and entered Firefox 77.0 in that field, and added few funny messages in the end of it. I'm still using Firefox 27, upgraded from 22 a short while ago, because common sites that have nothing to do with money insisted on TLS 1.2 support. I got no desire to research how to disable stuff in newer versions. The blur of "skia" was a total disaster on my mom's PC; I'm glad I found a solution on MSFN.
 

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On 6/30/2017 at 2:29 PM, Mathwiz said:

I think the Web is the primary driver of planned obsolescence in today's computers.

Try surfing with an old Web browser; say, Opera 12. You'll run into all sorts of major sites (e.g., Facebook) that just don't quite work right, even if they worked fine a year or two ago.

So if you surf the Web, you need to use a reasonably up-to-date browser. Doesn't have to be absolutely the latest, but it can't be too old. And so, you need an OS that will run reasonably up-to-date browsers.

Right now, in the Windows line, XP is about as far back as one can easily surf the Web with. Maybe 2000, with some difficulty; but 98 or ME will be really tough slogs. There just isn't a new enough browser that will run on those OSes.

P.S. I like the classic theme too.

@Mathwiz

Did you see my thread n May about spoofing Firefox on Windows 2000/XP? 

Most of these "obsolete" browsers run fine, and will not be blocked, if you just change the user agent. @jumpertested it with Windows 98: 

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Hi! Yes, I saw your post about spoofing the user-agent string. A useful technique! But even if I bypass the stupid sites that blindly block browsers they consider too old, I still run into other problems if my browser really is too old.

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Even in modern situations, spoofing the user agent isn't a foolproof method of doing anything. This is especially true if that user agent you are using causes the site to send different code for you to use, code that would be usable on the actual browser you were pretending to be. This will cause some sites to then appear to not work properly.

So changing User Agents is still just a testing type thing in most cases.

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23 hours ago, Tripredacus said:

Even in modern situations, spoofing the user agent isn't a foolproof method of doing anything. This is especially true if that user agent you are using causes the site to send different code for you to use, code that would be usable on the actual browser you were pretending to be. This will cause some sites to then appear to not work properly.

So changing User Agents is still just a testing type thing in most cases.

Good point! I suppose we should just use the Internet Explorer 11 agent string on Windows XP. I am pretty sure most developers are still coding for it.

Windows 7 has a large market share, and any version of Firefox released in the last 4-5 years would likely support the same feature set as IE 11, or at least be compatible with websites that support IE 11.

I think to keep things simple, I will be setting Firefox to impersonate IE 11. Since IE11 is the end of the line for Windows 7, it won't be necessary to change it again.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko

Internet Explorer 11 on Windows XP. Hahaha, I deliberately left the NT version to report XP. :lol:

IMPORTANT: updating Firefox to the newest version deletes the general.useragent.override string. So if/when Firefox 52 ESR receives another update, you'll need to go back into about:config and re-enter this string!

You can test your browser and OS combination here: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/

ie11xp.jpg

Edited by sdfox7

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