Important - About Opera useragent spoofing . . .

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Important - About Opera useragent spoofing . . .

Postby DJGM » Mon 06 Oct, 2003 12:21 pm


This message is for the benefit of Opera users, unaware of one of it's default settings.


By default,
Opera is set to falsely identify itself as Internet Explorer. This is known
as "useragent spoofing", and tricks those websites that (foolishly) block non-IE
browsers, such
Opera, Mozilla and Netscape into letting you view the site.

Useragent spoofing is bad, as it potentially causes inaccurate browser statistics,
and persuades the dumbest of web developers to write their pages for IE users
only, with IE specific, non-standard code. This is bad for the web, as it unnece-
ssarily helps boost the already oversized and undeserved web browser market
share that Microsoft currently has, mainly thanks to bundling IE with Windows.

Please do the web a favour, and reset your browser useragent string to show up
as
Opera. To do this, you need to go to the File menu, select "Quick Preferences",
then click on "Identify as
Opera". Your browser will then truthfully identify itself
to webservers as
Opera, rather than telling fibs, and identifying itself as MSIE.


NOTE added 1st August 2005:
As of version 8.02, Opera no longer spoofs it's default UA as Internet Explorer.
See - Opera quits spoofing UA as IE by default . . . - for more details
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031003 Firebird/0.7
Last edited by DJGM on Mon 01 Aug, 2005 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"Identify as Opera" doesn't seem to always work

Postby Megatimes » Wed 19 Nov, 2003 8:13 am

DJGM makes a really good point about the importance of truthfully disclosing your browser I.D. And, I have to admit that I've been guilty of misidentifing myself before, too.
But, even when the Identify as IE 6 option is set, most of the hit counters that I use (mostly Bravenet and some ASP.net pages) seem to be able to see through whatever option I'm using and identify me as Opera. I also tend to get the same results when logging into forums or subscription sites as they welcome page politely shows me my IP address and browser type.

Either way though, anything I can do to help increase the reliability of browser trackers / help people understand that IE should make you want to shoot yourself in the face with a rifle is a good thing.
UserAgent: Opera/7.20 (Windows NT 5.0; U) [en]
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Postby Josh » Thu 20 Nov, 2003 8:39 am

DJGM,

does your message apply to Opera/MSIE on OS X? I hated Opera 6 and Windows and I feel the same about it on OS X.
UserAgent: Opera/7.22 (Windows NT 5.1; U) [en]
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Postby Wellander » Sun 21 Dec, 2003 1:24 am

Hi,
In opera 7.50 beta it is >tools>quick preferences>then the identifier.
UserAgent: Opera/7.50 (Windows 98; U) [en]
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Postby Ghostman 1 » Sun 21 Mar, 2004 11:21 am

What was the first version of OPERA that started doing this? Or did all version of opera have this... 8-)
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Postby DJGM » Sun 21 Mar, 2004 3:04 pm

Josh wrote:DJGM,

does your message apply to Opera/MSIE on OS X?


Yes. The Mac version of Opera identifies itself as IE6, even though Microsoft
have decided that there'll never be any versions of IE6 for the Mac platform.
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Postby Edward » Sun 21 Mar, 2004 5:34 pm

Wellander wrote:Hi,
In opera 7.50 beta it is >tools>quick preferences>then the identifier.


F12 does the same thing.
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Re: Opera

Postby Andrew T. » Sun 21 Mar, 2004 5:51 pm

Ghostman 1 wrote:What was the first version of OPERA that started doing this? Or did all version of opera have this... 8-)


Opera 2.12, the oldest version I have on hand, spoofs its useragent as Netscape 2.1 (although an actual version 2.1 of Netscape Navigator does not exist). Since the first version of Opera publicly released was (I believe) version 2.0, this shows that useragent spoofing was implemented in Opera almost from the very beginning.
UserAgent: Mozilla/2.1 (compatible; Opera/2.12; Windows 95)
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Re: Opera

Postby Edward » Sun 21 Mar, 2004 6:03 pm

Andrew T. wrote:
Ghostman 1 wrote:What was the first version of OPERA that started doing this? Or did all version of opera have this... 8-)


Opera 2.12, the oldest version I have on hand, spoofs its useragent as Netscape 2.1 (although an actual version 2.1 of Netscape Navigator does not exist). Since the first version of Opera publicly released was (I believe) version 2.0, this shows that useragent spoofing was implemented in Opera almost from the very beginning.


It's called having "vision". :)
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Postby Ghostman 1 » Sun 21 Mar, 2004 7:19 pm

Thanks for the info guys...
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Postby djv1 » Mon 19 Apr, 2004 8:48 pm

I have noticed that it doesn't do this on Opera 7.23, it came set as it when I downloaded it!!
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Postby Z_God » Wed 28 Jul, 2004 2:09 pm

This spoofing of Opera is really stupid indeed. The Linux version of Opera reports that it is IE running on Linux btw :)

I'm planning to add code to my site that blocks Opera users that do not have a proper Opera useragent and tells them they should change it to be able to access the site. Not that my site is very interesting, but I think more people should do this.
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Konqueror/3.2; Linux) (KHTML, like Gecko)
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Postby Svedman » Thu 29 Jul, 2004 7:41 pm

I feel confident that the reason Opera ships pre-set to identify itself as IE is due to the many non-technical users who will complain if a site doesn't work, because it looks for IE or Netscape and finds neither.

All any script has to do to detect Opera is simply to look for the string opera in the User Agent string.

This will work regardless of what Opera identifies itself as, because Opera always appends Opera to the User Agent string.

Many site statistics scripts use JavaScript to detect the browser, especially remotely hosted scripts designed for people who cannot run PHP or CGI on their server. These scripts often use navigator.appName to detect the browser. When using Opera, this function will return either Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape or Opera, depending on what you have set it to identify itself as.

However, navigator.userAgent will always detect Opera because it contains the entire User Agent string. I have set Opera to identify itself as IE, and you can see the User Agent string below.

No wonder poorly written scripts get confused, though, because the User Agent string basically says:

"Hi, I'm Mozilla, but I'm actually IE, but I'm really Opera."
UserAgent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1) Opera 7.53 [en]
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Postby LLX » Fri 14 Oct, 2005 3:17 pm

i to have been guilty of make ony ie/netscape pages but when i do it its for a reason. their are CSS option that jsut look better in netscape so i redirect IE to a disclmer page"Best viewed in netscape click here to contine anyway"
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Postby Pu7o » Fri 14 Oct, 2005 5:07 pm

Optimizing a webpage for one browser is not good, but it's nothing compared to actually blocking web browsers. You say "best viewed in netscape, click here to continue anyway" - That means you allow IE users to continue. Most IE-only websites just say "This page doesn't work in non-IE, go away or come back with IE. Access denied." with no "click here to continue anyway", and that's what's most annoying.
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