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|Handset Model||Nokia Asha 302|
|OS Version||14.78 (31-08-12), RM-813|
|Browsers Tested On||Nokia Browser, Opera Mini|
|OS Type||Series 40 (S40)|
It has been noticed that internet browsing traffic, instead of directly hitting requested server, is being redirected to proxy servers. They get redirected to Nokia/Ovi proxy servers if Nokia browser is used, and to Opera proxy servers if Opera Mini browser is used. Given below is HTTP request header I noticed while browsing a simple site of checkip.dyndns.org, which reveals public ip address used by browsing device.
POST / HTTP/1.1 Host: cloud13.browser.ovi.com Content-Type: text/plain x-nokiabrowser-host: checkip.dyndns.org connection: Keep-Alive accept: */* cache-control: no-cache x-device-id: <removed> Content-Length: 293 Connection: Keep-Alive User-Agent: Nokia302/5.0 (14.78) Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 x-wap-profile: "http://nds1.nds.nokia.com/uaprof/Nokia302r100.xml"
Upon browsing a site, no attempt is made to resolve host name of site that is being browsed, but DNS request goes for resolving Nokia/Ovi’s cloud server which is shown in “Host:” part of above stated HTTP request. The site that needs to be browsed is sent to nokia server as parameter of “x-nokiabrowser-host”. Not just site browsing using their web-browser, but also some built-in applications such as mail client and twitter client (these are tested ones) seem to use same nokia browser, hence traffic for those applications as well is proxied through Nokia servers in above stated manner. Even after checking various settings, I could not see any straightforward way to bypass this proxy setting and let my internet traffic pass through normally. This behavior is noticed regardless of whether the browsing is done through 3G or Wifi network connections. I have tested this on Wifi by sniffing at wifi router and on 3G network by browsing self owned server and looking at packet capture.
In case of Opera Mini browser, there are two browsing options available 1) http 2) socks. This has been tested in both the browsing methods and results are similar. First of all, no dns request was seen for the site being browsed, but dns request was noticed for the opera site.
Given below is http request header for browsing the same site of checkip.dyndns.org using Opera Mini browser with http option:
POST / HTTP/1.1 Host: mini5.opera-mini.net Content-Type: application/xml accept: */* Content-Length: 15 Connection: Keep-Alive User-Agent: Nokia302/5.0 (14.78) Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 x-wap-profile: "http://nds1.nds.nokia.com/uaprof/Nokia302r100.xml" ...Q....l....z.
The screenshot given below shows packet flow captured by tcpdump (with host filter enabled for my mobile device) on wifi router, while browsing above mentioned site using Opera Mini browser over http.
Whereas same site, when browsed using Opera Mini browser over Socks option, looks like the screenshot given below, which is again packet capture by tcpdump (with host filter enabled for my mobile device) on my wifi router.
Again I couldn’t find a way in Opera Mini browser to bypass this behavior and let the traffic pass normally to target server, after seeing such shocking behavior, I quickly checked same things in a bit older Nokia mobile phone (C5-03), and couldn’t find any such behavior in that. Other thing to notice is whether we use Nokia browser or Opera Mini browser, http header’s User-Agent parameter shows exactly same values.
Now such behavior in Nokia mobile phones does raise few questions and concerns.
- What about individual’s privacy?
- What is Nokia/Opera doing behind the scene with all these information?
- Is Nokia selling such devices/OS only in India or even in other places?
- Is Nokia doing this to meet any regulatory requirement?
- And lastly, can’t this method be (mis)used to proxy even normal desktop/laptop Internet browsing through their proxy servers, to hide real source??
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