# Research

May contain traces of speculation. May also be entirely wrong.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Aww shit! Following up on yesterdays post, there are actually quite a number of optional URL parameters that can be specified when making a HTTP request to the FDFE API. So far, I found:

  • ipCountryOverride
  • mccmncOverride
  • skipCache
  • showStagingData
  • p13n

Their values are configured globally in the playstore app. When set, they are appended to the URL in the order above on every HTTP GET or POST request to the DFE API. The later three take a true or false as a value. Not sure what they are suppose to do, though.

I should probably add support for adding arbitrary URL parameters in the coon-mothership library.

Monday, June 29, 2020

The (F)DFE API supports an URL parameter called “ipCountryOverride”. It can be enabled in a “secret” developer dialog. I always suspected that this is somehow used by Google engineers when they need to bypass geo blocking, but I could never figure out what to pass as a value. Booleans as well as locales don’t work and obviously, you cannot use an IP address to represent a country. What’s even more curious is that dialog loads data from a CSV file (which, of course, isn’t publicly available)!

You connect to a host called android.clients.google.com, when talking to the Playstore. That’s actually a DNS CNAME and can resolve to a number of different IP addresses. The Playstore is not a single/central server system! Google likely runs a separate instance of it in a local datacenter in every country in the world.

So, maybe the value for the ipCountryOvveride parameter is the IP address of the (country) instance behind the load balancer then?

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A bit of research on the GSF ID and the elusive DF-DFERH-01 error

Huh, just discovered a couple of things about the GSF ID.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Bypassing phone verification for Google accounts.

For your security, Google wants to make sure that it's really you. Google will send a text message with a 6-digit verification code. Standard bullshit applies.