Google Now Bans Some Linux Web Browsers From Their Services

Google

Google is now banning the popular Linux browsers named Konqueror, Falkon, and Qutebrowser from logging into Google services because they may not be secure. It is not known when Google started blocking these browsers, but a user discovered this ban yesterday and posted about it on Reddit. In tests conducted by BleepingComputer, we can confirm that we were unable to log in with Konqueror or Falkon on multiple machines. When attempting to do so, we were told to try a different browser as Konqueror or Falkon may not be secure.
Google blocking FalkonGoogle blocking Falkon

The full text of this message is shown below.

Couldn't sign you in

This browser or app may not be secure. Learn more

Try using a different browser. If you're already using a supported browser, you can refresh your screen and try again to sign in.

Included in the message is a 'Learn More' link that brings us to a Google support article stating a browser may be blocked from signing in for the following reasons:

  • Don’t support JavaScript or have Javascript turned off.
  • Have unsecure or unsupported extensions added.
  • Use automation testing frameworks.
  • Are embedded in a different application.
Even stranger, some users have reported that they could still login with Falkon [1, 2].

This has led people to offer a variety of theories for why this is happening including it being an A/B test being done by Google, related to the version of QtWebEngine installed, or maybe even an account setting such as 2FA being enabled.

BleepingComputer has contacted Google to ask why these browsers are blocked but have not received a response as of yet.

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