Changing your location manually in Chrome and Firefox

Our modern web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox (as well as Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari) have the abilities to use our current location using a variety of techniques. Most of the time, the browser will prompt the user and ask for permission to use the current location on some web site.

That works well when you want to use that web application from your current location. What if you are performing some Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and want your browser to appear to be at the location of your target instead of where you are?

Google Chrome: Making a Manual Change

Well, in Google Chrome, you can use the built-in geolocation emulation.

The information below is from the https://developers.google.com/web/tools/chrome-devtools/device-mode/device-input-and-sensors article as of 2016-12-02.

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The above technique works well and there are several presets in the developer tools panel that let you choose one of the major cities Google configured or enter you can enter a custom lat/long (as shown above). Refresh the page you are on and tell it to find your location and BAM! You have moved.

Changing Back

If you wish to restore your location so that you are not using the virtual/emulated location any more, change the setting in the sensors developer tool to “No override”. You may then need to reset the geolocation preferences for the application you are using to take advantage of the changes. To do so, click on the target icon (see below) in the URL bar and select “Clear these settings for future visits”. Next time you use the app, it will ask you for permission to use your current location. Choose “yes” and your location will return to where you actually are.

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Another Option – Location Guard

I found another option to do this same thing, more simply, with an Extension called Location Guard. In this Opera, Chrome and Firefox extension you can select a certain location from a map or quickly choose a privacy level that will pick a random location from around where your computer would normally report that it is. For this second option, if I set the privacy level to high, Location Guard would show me as somewhere within a 2,000 meter circle of where I actually am. This can obfuscate your location but still present to applications roughly where you are.

The code for the plugin is available at https://github.com/chatziko/location-guard.

Happy location spoofing!

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