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HTTP 503 from IE6 on dreamhost

It seems that dreamhost somehow returns HTTP 503 if the user agent is exactly “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)”. This is from the modern.ie IE6 windows XP build.

wget --user-agent "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)" "http://hellomynameis.org.uk/"
--2014-04-09 11:31:18-- http://hellomynameis.org.uk/
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable
2014-04-09 11:31:19 ERROR 503: Service Temporarily Unavailable.

If the user agent is anything else it works fine … e.g. Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) foo bar

wget --user-agent "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) foo bar" "http://hellomynameis.org.uk/"
--2014-04-09 11:33:46-- http://hellomynameis.org.uk/
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK

I debugged the headers sent by IE6 using netcat…

nc -l 8080
GET / HTTP/1.1
Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, application/x-shockwave-flash, */*
Accept-Language: en-us
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Host: 10.5.1.69:8080
Connection: Keep-Alive

Latest on this…

Dreamhost ‘Extra Web Security’ option in the dreamhost panel causes this issue, this is just a switch for mod_security. It explicitly blocks IE6, but only the SV1 UA variant. I tried a whole load of user agents, including those all the way back to IE2 on Windows 3.1. Only the SP1+ WinXP IE6 variant is blocked.

I contacted supported, their response is IE6 is “not supported” so not going to do anything about it. I replied explaining the issue again but no luck.

if (customerQuestion.contains("IE6")) {
   response.add("IE6 is not supported");
   disregardAllContext();
   stopThinking();
   stopReading();
   enableCommonSense(false);
}
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