Skip to content
New issue

Have a question about this project? Sign up for a free GitHub account to open an issue and contact its maintainers and the community.

By clicking “Sign up for GitHub”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy statement. We’ll occasionally send you account related emails.

Already on GitHub? Sign in to your account

Google Sign-In issues (fix and workaround available!) #5182

Closed
The-Compiler opened this issue Jan 7, 2020 · 7 comments
Closed

Google Sign-In issues (fix and workaround available!) #5182

The-Compiler opened this issue Jan 7, 2020 · 7 comments

Comments

@The-Compiler
Copy link
Member

@The-Compiler The-Compiler commented Jan 7, 2020

Given that information about this is a bit scattered at the moment, I'm opening (and pinning) this issue in the hope that it's easier to find that way. Here's what's going on:

Explanation

  • Mid 2019, Google started blocking various smaller browsers from logging in to a Google account. This initially only affected few people, but seems to be rolled out to many Google accounts now (but not all of them, my own accounts are still unaffected...)
  • Google claims that you're using "a browser [...] that doesn't allow us to keep your account secure". There's not much further rationale available for that claim - all I'm aware of is a blogpost titled "Better protection against Man in the Middle phishing attacks" where this originally was announced and a Google Help Center entry which also mentions that this change is targetting automation testing frameworks and browsers embedded in a different application. The change seems to affect much more than that - also see a Bleepingcomputer article and related Reddit discussions (/r/kde, /r/privacy and others).
  • It looks like Google tries to block the QtWebEngine library which could indeed be used to build applications using a Google account by letting the user sign in and then "stealing" the cookie instead of e.g. using OAuth to log in and some API. It looks like blocking various browsers (including qutebrowser) just is collateral damage.

Fix and workaround

  • Fortunately, it was discovered that setting the user agent to Firefox bypasses whatever weird check Google is doing.
  • With qutebrowser v1.9.0 (2019-01-08), a content.site_specific_quirks option was added (see #4810 and #5157 for details). With it enabled (which is the default), qutebrowser sends a Firefox user agent for the Google Accounts page (and other problematic pages like WhatsApp), thus fixing the issue.
  • As a workaround, you can get the equivalent of that fix by running :set -u https://accounts.google.com/* content.headers.user_agent 'Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/57.0'
@The-Compiler

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member Author

@The-Compiler The-Compiler commented Jan 7, 2020

Also, let me add my personal opinion on this, from an earlier mailinglist mail:

I wouldn't be surprised if Google just blocks pretty much everything other than Chrome and maybe Firefox. It's ridiculous, but it's yet another sign showing that maybe it isn't a good thing to make yourself dependent on Google - you're absolutely at their mercy, and they don't exactly have a good track record.

I've once tried helping someone who only got an internal server error when trying to open an important attachment of an older mail in GMail. We contacted Google Support, and as you'd predict, nothing happened.

Given that Google really doesn't care about its users, your only option is either switching browsers, or moving away from Google. I did the latter years ago[*]. Seeing what's going on here, this absolutely was the right decision, but I'm aware this isn't something everyone can realistically do...

[*] At least for stuff like Calendar and Mail. I still use Youtube (mostly via mpv/youtube-dl), Google Play and sometimes Maps (mostly switched to Openstreetmap/OSMand).

@JonnyHaystack

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

@JonnyHaystack JonnyHaystack commented Jan 8, 2020

Sorry for being possibly a bit off-topic, but out of interest what replacements do you use for GMail and Google Calendar?

@The-Compiler

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member Author

@The-Compiler The-Compiler commented Jan 8, 2020

@JonnyHaystack

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Contributor

@JonnyHaystack JonnyHaystack commented Jan 8, 2020

Thanks! I'll check out all of those

@The-Compiler

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member Author

@The-Compiler The-Compiler commented Jan 8, 2020

For anyone watching this issue: I just released qutebrowser v1.9.0 with the fix.

@jb55

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@jb55 jb55 commented Jan 8, 2020

Sorry for being possibly a bit off-topic, but out of interest what replacements do you use for GMail and Google Calendar?

I run radicale and sync with DAVx⁵ as well. radicale works great! I haven't had any issues with it.

@The-Compiler

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Member Author

@The-Compiler The-Compiler commented Jan 17, 2020

I don't want to turn this into a conversation about Google, but either way: I just read Why I quit using Google – Kyle Piira which is a nice (even if horrifying) post which lists some more alternatives.

@jgkamat jgkamat unpinned this issue Feb 12, 2020
Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
Projects
None yet
Linked pull requests

Successfully merging a pull request may close this issue.

None yet
3 participants
You can’t perform that action at this time.