secure SMTP hangs when Norton AntiVirus is enabled



17 years ago
10 years ago


(Reporter: lkwong, Unassigned)



Windows XP
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17 years ago
To reproduce:
1. Alias a secure SMTP host to something other than what its certificate indicates
2. Set your SMTP settings to "When Available" or "Always" and use the host from #1.
3. Enable Norton Anti-Virus Outgoing E-Mail scan
4. Try sending a sample message.

  All open Mozilla windows (Browser, mail) hang and are unresponsive.  Process
usage for MOZILLA.EXE grows to 99%.  Process must be killed and Talkback doesn't

I realize this is probably an issue with NAV rather than Mozilla, but it seemed
like Mozilla should have failed gracefully in this case.

Thanks!  You guys rock.

Comment 1

17 years ago
Reporter, could you specify your build ID?
Severity: normal → critical
Keywords: hang

Comment 2

17 years ago
Build ID is 2002051006.  I'd upgraded to see if I could get rid of the problem 
so it also existed in my previous build, which was something like 200204xxxx.

Also, I've noticed this occurs even if the site certificate is valid, ie. you 
enter the hostname listed in the certificate.  Mail seems to hang whenever a 
secure connection is specified and the NAV Outgoing E-Mail scan is enabled.


17 years ago
QA Contact: sheelar → meehansqa

Comment 3

16 years ago
I'm using Windows XP Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.1a+)
Gecko/20020702.  The whole mozilla app hangs if I set the mail client to send to
a host (properly identified by the cert BTW) and select use SSL.  If I clear the
SSL pref (after restarting Moz), it goes through.  I can send to this same host
using Mozilla on a Win2k system.  I've created a clean, new profile and I get
the same behaviour - as soon as I click send, all processes in Mozilla hang
(including browse windows, it won't cleanly exit, I have to end task mozilla).

Comment 4

16 years ago
You know, I put my issue as a separate bug - I'm not using NAV and I'm not
having the problem with only the non-cert address.

Comment 5

16 years ago
Confirm on win2k, Mozilla build 2002061104 and NAV 2002
Sending works with SSL disabled, but not with "if available" or "always".

Comment 6

16 years ago
*** Bug 154963 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 7

16 years ago
Mozilla Build: 2002052306 / Windows XP
Using sendmail 8.12.2 with STARTTLS and having installed a correct certificate

If Norton Antivirus is enabled to scan outgoing email mozilla crashes as
described! If I do a telnet to port 25 and "simulate" the smtp by hand it looks
exactlay like this:

C:\>telnet 25
220 ESMTP Sendmail 8.12.2/8.12.2; Fri, 2 Aug 2002 01:34:21+0200 (MEST)
EHLO home Hello [], pleased to meet you
250 HELP
500 Nicht unterst³tzter Befehl.

The two lines "EHLO home" and "STARTTLS" are typed by hand the others are
responses from sendmail. And now attention: The response to the STARTTLS command
comes from antivirus and not from sendmail! It is somehow interesting that the
text after the 500 is in german! I got crazy about that while checking my
sendmail installation until it got me down to doing a search in the sendmail
sources after that german phrase (haha). When antivirus answeres with the "500
Nicht unterst³tzter Befehl." to STARTTLS this leaves the following in the
logfile of sendmail:

Aug  2 01:41:47 xxxxxx sendmail[19224]: [ID 801593] g71NYLcm019224: [] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN
 during connection to MTA

Antivirus did not even send a "quit" command to the smtp-server and just
terminates the connection! I think it does not matter if the certificate is
correct or not. The problem seems to be that mozilla expects an encrypted
connection right after the STARTTLS command and does not check if the
smtp-server did respond with an un-encrpyted 500 error message but this is just
a guess.
I spent lots of hours with this problem a few months ago while installing a new
sendmail version. Then, after I got it working, I did not use antivirus for a
few months. Now I just installed antivirus again and right after that mozilla
crashed when sending mail. I wanted to look why that was not fixed for so long
time and saw this bug here. So I just wanted to post my experiences in hope they
are helpful!
But I also have a question:
>To reproduce:
>1. Alias a secure SMTP host to something other than what its certificate indicates

Are you really shure that antivirus checks for the validity of the certificate ?
I'm using my sendmail installation since months and the only think I did was
installing my own ca certificate in mozilla and after that I have not had any
problems! Even outlook works great with sending by SSL after installing the ca
in outlook! How can I check the correctness of the certificate else ? 

Comment 8

16 years ago
Yes, recent versions of Norton Antivirus actually intercept outgoing SMTP
streams and apparently play with them. 
Keywords: mozilla1.2, nsbeta1


16 years ago
Blocks: 163294

Comment 9

16 years ago
Confirming, marking as NEW
Ever confirmed: true

Comment 10

16 years ago
Hi.  I hit this bug too.  -And the assignee (Scott) won't be back 'till January...  
Occurs even if NAV hasn't been registered (e.g. on a HP laptop with NAV
pre-installed, but not yet registered.) 
Uninstalling NAV, replacing with Mcafee...
(Really, shouldn't crashes in Mail, News and the browser be unable to crash each

Comment 11

16 years ago
Norton AV hang also reported in bug 166867. Dup?

Comment 12

16 years ago
*** Bug 166867 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 13

16 years ago
Maybe I'm wrong, but if there is a SSL session opened between Mozilla and the
SMTP server, and NAV intercepts the data and tries to rewrite it, or reformat
it, it's going to corrupt that data, because it can't decrypt the data.

What happens when applications other than Mozilla send e-mail in this way? Does
NAV hang them, too?
Keywords: mozilla1.2 → mozilla1.3, qawanted

Comment 14

16 years ago
Confirming two things Wong said:
1)The issue is that Mozilla should have failed gracefully in this case.
2)It is not relevant wheher the cert is valid or not.

Andrew: yes, is isn't and *shouldn't* be possible for NAV to filter a secure 
SMTP session from Mozilla.  If it was possible, it would be a man-in-the-middle 
attack on SSL.  (Norton should allow a user to send over regular SMTP but take 
over and make the Internet (post-filter) part of the connection over secure 

IIRC, some testing I did a while ago showed that Outlook (2000, 2002) fail 
gracefully when this (trouble with an SMTP connection) occurs.

So the bug, restated, is:
Mozilla hangs when there is trouble with a (secure) SMTP session.  
NAV happens to be a reliable way to cause the trouble, which causes the 
symptom: the hang.

Anyone noticed if the session eventually times out, unhanging Mozilla?

Comment 15

16 years ago
I believe that I can offer a simplified test case I discovered by accidently
misconfiguring my outgoing SMTP server causing Mozilla to hang. I cannot confirm
if the SMTP server I used (as I am unable to configure my own at the moment) is
configured or misconfigured for secure connections. I however do not have Norton
AnitVirus installed so this should help clear up the NAV issue as I can
reproduce this bug without NAV installed.

My build and OS:

Build: 2002101612
OS: Windows 98 SE
Norton AntiVirus installed: No!

Test Case:

1. Identify an SMTP server that does not support secure (SSL) connections
2. In the "Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings" dialog configure the "Server Name"
and under "Use secure connection (SSL): select "Always"
3. Select OK to configure the server.
4. Attempt to send an email using the configured SMTP server

The result should be Mozilla hanging. 

I shall next try to confirm whether Mozilla times out and returns.

Comment 16

16 years ago
The original report is of a hang while trying to contact a secure SMTP host.

What you just said sounds like a new, different bug. Please consider filing a
bug report for it.

Comment 17

16 years ago
Shane, Andrew: Suggest we not adopt Shane's test case, which is appropriate for 
existing, different bug 98399:
The bugs are different - IMO: one is about how Mozilla shouldn't hang, no 
matter what happens, that is demonstrated by using SSL.  MozillaMail shouldn't 
hang MozillaBrowser just cuz a SMTP conversation takes forever.  The other is 
about a specifig bug in SSL that needs fixing.

Comment 18

16 years ago
Mail triage team: nsbeta1-
Keywords: nsbeta1 → nsbeta1-

Comment 19

16 years ago
First, can we get a log of the SMTP transaction? 

On a different note, is this problem related to this Symantec knowledge base

Summary: Sending a message via secure SMTP causes Mozilla to hang when Norton Anti-Virus is enabled and site certificate is invalid → Sending a message via secure SMTP causes Mozilla to hang when Norton AntiVirus is enabled and site certificate is invalid

Comment 20

16 years ago
I was going to send Symantec tech support e-mail on this, but apparently they
only accept e-mail at limited hours between M and F. ??? I just want to drop
them an e-mail, and because it's late, I can't do that? Anyway, we should
contact them. Maybe they can help.

Comment 21

16 years ago
I never got any error message, so I do not think the Symantec article is useful


16 years ago
Blocks: 193931

Comment 22

16 years ago
*** Bug 193869 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 200617 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 24

16 years ago
Sorry that I reported the known bug again in separate thread.

I got the problem indeed having Norton AV installed.
Is it only NAV related?

If not, then since it is so oled bug, I would have expected it to go away 
with 1.3 or latest 1.4a?

BTW: with the same settings 1.3b used to work ok for me. 
Now it seems just not using encryption ever on SMTP is the only
easy way out.


Comment 25

16 years ago
I think it hasn't been fixed because, as the new mozilla roadmap states:
"Mozilla's integrated mail has many fine features, but it suffers from too many
integration points with the other apps, and it remains a complicated front end
maintained by too few people, most of whom have different day jobs now."
Given the (gasp!) radically new direction for Mail given in the roadmap, perhaps
all the coding necessary for the switch to the new Minotaur/Thunderbird will
incidentally fix this.  Besides there is a workaround.
Basically no one submitted a patch.  I imagine simply better testing/checking of
error codes/timeouts would fix this.
Product: MailNews → Core
The log in comment 7 shows the problem quite clearly.  Norton AV is acting
as a proxy for the SMTP server.  NAV passes the EHLO response from the real 
SMTP server (which contains "STARTTLS") through to the email client.  
The email client sees the STARTTLS and tries to use it.  Then NAV responds 
that it doesn't understand STARTTLS.  That's a bug in NAV, pure and simple. 
NAV should either (a) pass STARTTLS traffic through, or (b) filter out the
word "STARETTLS" from the EHLO resonse.  Because NAV does neither of those 
things, it appears to the email client to be a broken server, one that 
claims to handle STARTTLS, but that actually fails if you try it.

Now, I'll agree that the core SMTP code should gracefully handle this failure.
But let's look past that to the real solution to this problem.  Even if the
client's core SMTP code did gracefully handle this failure, and reported 
to the user that the server is not correctly handling STARTTLS, you still
haven't sent your email securely, right?

NAV has a way to configure it to NOT filter outgoing SMTP mail.  The exact
details of how to do that vary in NAV from year to year, and even between
their standard and "professional" products, so won't be given here.  
But the ONLY real solution to this problem is to disable NAV's faulty 
scanning of SMTP email traffic.  
Assignee: mscott → nobody
QA Contact: meehansqa
Summary: Sending a message via secure SMTP causes Mozilla to hang when Norton AntiVirus is enabled and site certificate is invalid → secure SMTP hangs when Norton AntiVirus is enabled

Comment 27

13 years ago
FYI, I've had no trouble getting refunds from Norton/Symantec and
Macafee/Network Associates et. al. for unresolved bugs (in my case it was for
bugs related to compatibility with WinXP's Limited User accounts).  Getting a
refund if one of their products can't be made to work with secure SMTP shouldn't
be a problem either.

I am removing the 'qawanted' Keyword-I see no reason for it; email me or put it
back if it should there.

Nelson:I disagree regarding the 'ONLY real solution'; a better, correct solution
is in my comment #14, in parentheses.
Keywords: qawanted

Comment 28

12 years ago
Following up on this bug.

It's hard for me to verify as I don't use this set of applications anymore.  However, I do seem to remember the problem being fixed at some point. 
Last Resolved: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME


10 years ago
Product: Core → MailNews Core

Comment 29

10 years ago
I have not seen this for a long time.
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