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captive portal detection fails with redirect from detectportal.firefox.com to mymodem.modem, which does not resolve

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My Firefox Developer Edition just required manual help to upgrade to 73.0b2 because the auto-upgrade failed. Not sure if that is important. All new tabs and windows had the "You have to connect to the internet" captive-portal bar across the top, but I'm on a home network without captive portal. Clicking the "go to login page" button went to a "can't find that page" error page.

I tried curl from the command-line of my Mac (10.15.2) and got this:

% curl -v http://detectportal.firefox.com/success.txt

  • Trying 2600:1415:1c00::17c0:6c92...
  • TCP_NODELAY set
  • Connected to detectportal.firefox.com (2600:1415:1c00::17c0:6c92) port 80 (#0)

> GET /success.txt HTTP/1.1 > Host: detectportal.firefox.com > User-Agent: curl/7.64.1 > Accept: */* > < HTTP/1.1 302 Moved Temporarily < Server: nginx < Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:07:46 GMT < Content-Type: text/html < Content-Length: 154 < Connection: keep-alive < Location: http://mymodem.modem < X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN < Content-Security-Policy: default-src 'self';script-src 'self' 'unsafe-eval' 'unsafe-inline';style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' < Cache-Control: public, max-age=31536000 < <title>302 Found</title>

302 Found


nginx

I'm prepared to believe that this is ISP-related, rather than Firefox, but on the off-chance that it's somehow down to a misconfiguration of the captive-portal detection servers right now, I thought that I'd report it here.

I've stopped this from happening by setting about:config network.captive-portal-service.enabled to false, but would ideally prefer that this not recur on the next profile reset.

My Firefox Developer Edition just required manual help to upgrade to 73.0b2 because the auto-upgrade failed. Not sure if that is important. All new tabs and windows had the "You have to connect to the internet" captive-portal bar across the top, but I'm on a home network without captive portal. Clicking the "go to login page" button went to a "can't find that page" error page. I tried curl from the command-line of my Mac (10.15.2) and got this: % curl -v http://detectportal.firefox.com/success.txt * Trying 2600:1415:1c00::17c0:6c92... * TCP_NODELAY set * Connected to detectportal.firefox.com (2600:1415:1c00::17c0:6c92) port 80 (#0) > GET /success.txt HTTP/1.1 > Host: detectportal.firefox.com > User-Agent: curl/7.64.1 > Accept: */* > < HTTP/1.1 302 Moved Temporarily < Server: nginx < Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:07:46 GMT < Content-Type: text/html < Content-Length: 154 < Connection: keep-alive < Location: http://mymodem.modem < X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN < Content-Security-Policy: default-src 'self';script-src 'self' 'unsafe-eval' 'unsafe-inline';style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' < Cache-Control: public, max-age=31536000 < <html> <head><title>302 Found</title></head> <body bgcolor="white"> <center><h1>302 Found</h1></center> <hr><center>nginx</center> </body> </html> * Connection #0 to host detectportal.firefox.com left intact * Closing connection 0 I'm prepared to believe that this is ISP-related, rather than Firefox, but on the off-chance that it's somehow down to a misconfiguration of the captive-portal detection servers right now, I thought that I'd report it here. I've stopped this from happening by setting about:config network.captive-portal-service.enabled to false, but would ideally prefer that this not recur on the next profile reset.

Chosen solution

Solved. ISP (Telstra) NBN router problem fixed by restarting the router. Fix might also involve clearing some telstra-related cookies, because I did that too, but that seems less likely.

Summary: turns out that Telstra's routers have some "captive portal" functionality that they use surreptitiously as a "malware prevention" mechanism. They can (and do, apparently) dynamically black-hole some IP addresses, or perhaps DNS lookups. Looks as though stale information in that list managed to collide with Firefox's local detectportal Akamai service. Telstra's on-line chat and telephone support operators were completely ineffectual in diagnosing this, by the way. Both gave up. The second advised strongly against rebooting the router. Sigh. I'm fairly sure that if the modem still had its default LAN configuration settings, the mymodem.modem URL would have resolved to it, but it doesn't, and my highest priority DNS is google's IPv6 one, I think, so that doesn't resolve to anything.

Router restart did "fix" the problem though.

It would be nice if the network.captive-portal-service.enabled frob could be exposed as a settings knob. This desktop machine isn't going to move to a captive portal at any time, so doesn't need to do the check that triggered the fault. Wouldn't want to share that with synch services though.

Thanks for listening!

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Additional System Details

Application

  • Firefox 73.0b2
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.15; rv:73.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/73.0
  • Support URL: https://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/73.0/Darwin/en-US/

Extensions

  • Amazon.co.uk 1.1 (amazon@search.mozilla.org)
  • Amazon.com 1.1 (amazondotcom@search.mozilla.org)
  • Bing 1.1 (bing@search.mozilla.org)
  • DuckDuckGo 1.0 (ddg@search.mozilla.org)
  • eBay 1.0 (ebay@search.mozilla.org)
  • Google 1.0 (google@search.mozilla.org)
  • Twitter 1.0 (twitter@search.mozilla.org)
  • Wikipedia (en) 1.0 (wikipedia@search.mozilla.org)

Javascript

  • incrementalGCEnabled: True

Graphics

  • adapterDescription:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x6938
  • adapterDrivers:
  • adapterRAM: 0
  • adapterVendorID: 0x1002
  • contentUsesTiling: True
  • crashGuards: []
  • driverDate:
  • driverVendor:
  • driverVersion:
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  • numAcceleratedWindows: 2
  • numTotalWindows: 2
  • offMainThreadPaintEnabled: True
  • offMainThreadPaintWorkerCount: 4
  • targetFrameRate: 60
  • usesTiling: True
  • webgl1DriverExtensions: GL_ARB_blend_func_extended GL_ARB_draw_buffers_blend GL_ARB_draw_indirect GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility GL_ARB_explicit_attrib_location GL_ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 GL_ARB_gpu_shader5 GL_ARB_instanced_arrays GL_ARB_internalformat_query GL_ARB_occlusion_query2 GL_ARB_sample_shading GL_ARB_sampler_objects GL_ARB_separate_shader_objects GL_ARB_shader_bit_encoding GL_ARB_shader_subroutine GL_ARB_shading_language_include GL_ARB_tessellation_shader GL_ARB_texture_buffer_object_rgb32 GL_ARB_texture_cube_map_array GL_ARB_texture_gather GL_ARB_texture_query_lod GL_ARB_texture_rgb10_a2ui GL_ARB_texture_storage GL_ARB_texture_swizzle GL_ARB_timer_query GL_ARB_transform_feedback2 GL_ARB_transform_feedback3 GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit GL_ARB_vertex_type_2_10_10_10_rev GL_ARB_viewport_array GL_EXT_debug_label GL_EXT_debug_marker GL_EXT_depth_bounds_test GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic GL_EXT_texture_mirror_clamp GL_EXT_texture_sRGB_decode GL_APPLE_client_storage GL_APPLE_container_object_shareable GL_APPLE_flush_render GL_APPLE_object_purgeable GL_APPLE_rgb_422 GL_APPLE_row_bytes GL_APPLE_texture_range GL_ATI_texture_mirror_once GL_NV_texture_barrier
  • webgl1Extensions: ANGLE_instanced_arrays EXT_blend_minmax EXT_color_buffer_half_float EXT_disjoint_timer_query EXT_float_blend EXT_frag_depth EXT_shader_texture_lod EXT_sRGB EXT_texture_compression_rgtc EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic OES_element_index_uint OES_fbo_render_mipmap OES_standard_derivatives OES_texture_float OES_texture_float_linear OES_texture_half_float OES_texture_half_float_linear OES_vertex_array_object WEBGL_color_buffer_float WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc_srgb WEBGL_debug_renderer_info WEBGL_debug_shaders WEBGL_depth_texture WEBGL_draw_buffers WEBGL_lose_context
  • webgl1Renderer: ATI Technologies Inc. -- AMD Radeon R9 M295X OpenGL Engine
  • webgl1Version: 4.1 ATI-3.4.19
  • webgl1WSIInfo: CGL
  • webgl2DriverExtensions: GL_ARB_blend_func_extended GL_ARB_draw_buffers_blend GL_ARB_draw_indirect GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility GL_ARB_explicit_attrib_location GL_ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 GL_ARB_gpu_shader5 GL_ARB_instanced_arrays GL_ARB_internalformat_query GL_ARB_occlusion_query2 GL_ARB_sample_shading GL_ARB_sampler_objects GL_ARB_separate_shader_objects GL_ARB_shader_bit_encoding GL_ARB_shader_subroutine GL_ARB_shading_language_include GL_ARB_tessellation_shader GL_ARB_texture_buffer_object_rgb32 GL_ARB_texture_cube_map_array GL_ARB_texture_gather GL_ARB_texture_query_lod GL_ARB_texture_rgb10_a2ui GL_ARB_texture_storage GL_ARB_texture_swizzle GL_ARB_timer_query GL_ARB_transform_feedback2 GL_ARB_transform_feedback3 GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit GL_ARB_vertex_type_2_10_10_10_rev GL_ARB_viewport_array GL_EXT_debug_label GL_EXT_debug_marker GL_EXT_depth_bounds_test GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic GL_EXT_texture_mirror_clamp GL_EXT_texture_sRGB_decode GL_APPLE_client_storage GL_APPLE_container_object_shareable GL_APPLE_flush_render GL_APPLE_object_purgeable GL_APPLE_rgb_422 GL_APPLE_row_bytes GL_APPLE_texture_range GL_ATI_texture_mirror_once GL_NV_texture_barrier
  • webgl2Extensions: EXT_color_buffer_float EXT_disjoint_timer_query EXT_float_blend EXT_texture_compression_rgtc EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic OES_texture_float_linear WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc_srgb WEBGL_debug_renderer_info WEBGL_debug_shaders WEBGL_lose_context
  • webgl2Renderer: ATI Technologies Inc. -- AMD Radeon R9 M295X OpenGL Engine
  • webgl2Version: 4.1 ATI-3.4.19
  • webgl2WSIInfo: CGL
  • windowLayerManagerRemote: True
  • windowLayerManagerType: OpenGL
  • windowUsingAdvancedLayers: False

Modified Preferences

Misc

  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No

Chosen Solution

Solved. ISP (Telstra) NBN router problem fixed by restarting the router. Fix might also involve clearing some telstra-related cookies, because I did that too, but that seems less likely.

Summary: turns out that Telstra's routers have some "captive portal" functionality that they use surreptitiously as a "malware prevention" mechanism. They can (and do, apparently) dynamically black-hole some IP addresses, or perhaps DNS lookups. Looks as though stale information in that list managed to collide with Firefox's local detectportal Akamai service. Telstra's on-line chat and telephone support operators were completely ineffectual in diagnosing this, by the way. Both gave up. The second advised strongly against rebooting the router. Sigh. I'm fairly sure that if the modem still had its default LAN configuration settings, the mymodem.modem URL would have resolved to it, but it doesn't, and my highest priority DNS is google's IPv6 one, I think, so that doesn't resolve to anything.

Router restart did "fix" the problem though.

It would be nice if the network.captive-portal-service.enabled frob could be exposed as a settings knob. This desktop machine isn't going to move to a captive portal at any time, so doesn't need to do the check that triggered the fault. Wouldn't want to share that with synch services though.

Thanks for listening!

Solved. ISP (Telstra) NBN router problem fixed by restarting the router. Fix might also involve clearing some telstra-related cookies, because I did that too, but that seems less likely. Summary: turns out that Telstra's routers have some "captive portal" functionality that they use surreptitiously as a "malware prevention" mechanism. They can (and do, apparently) dynamically black-hole some IP addresses, or perhaps DNS lookups. Looks as though stale information in that list managed to collide with Firefox's local detectportal Akamai service. Telstra's on-line chat and telephone support operators were completely ineffectual in diagnosing this, by the way. Both gave up. The second advised strongly ''against'' rebooting the router. Sigh. I'm fairly sure that if the modem still had its default LAN configuration settings, the mymodem.modem URL would have resolved to it, but it doesn't, and my highest priority DNS is google's IPv6 one, I think, so that doesn't resolve to anything. Router restart did "fix" the problem though. It would be nice if the network.captive-portal-service.enabled frob could be exposed as a settings knob. This desktop machine isn't going to move to a captive portal at any time, so doesn't need to do the check that triggered the fault. Wouldn't want to share that with synch services though. Thanks for listening!
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