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Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

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New Contributor

Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

I keep getting certificate errors for Paypal and eBay. I use a program called Rapport that I got through my bank. It also keeps coming back with bad certificates. This is the error Firefox gives me:

www.paypal.com uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is only valid for www.paypal.com

(Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)

Also, most of the text/links, like on Google and Blackboard (the website I use for school) are randomly bold. And now the font is getting scrambled.

Here is a pic of the bad certificate from Rapport: http://i.imgur.com/rjZs4Bi.jpg

A picture of the scrambled text: http://i.imgur.com/CgcAg0Q.jpg

A picture of the bold text in Google: http://i.imgur.com/WSFT3pD.jpg

SuperAntiSpyware is run nightly. I ran Malware Bytes, Microsoft Security Essentials (which is my default antivirus program), TDSS rootkit removal tool, and Spybot Search and Destroy, and I attempted to run the Norton program that I get for free from Comcast. It didn't work. But everything else came back fine.

9 REPLIES
Legendary Contributor

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

That certificate is clearly not correct, since the real certificate expires in 2014, not 2039, and is issued by Verisign.

A standard diagnostic to bypass interference by extensions (and some custom settings) is to try Firefox's Safe Mode.

First, I recommend backing up your Firefox settings in case something goes wrong. See Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles. (You can copy your entire Firefox profile folder somewhere outside of the Mozilla folder.)

Next, restart Firefox in Firefox's Safe Mode (Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode) using

Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

In the dialog, click "Start in Safe Mode."

If the problem sites work correctly, this points to one of your extensions or custom settings as the problem.

To also disable plugins, you can try here:

orange Firefox button or classic Tools menu > Add-ons > Plugins category

Any change?

Site Moderator

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

Check the date and time in the clock on your computer: (double) click the clock icon on the Windows Taskbar.

Make sure that you use the latest version of Rapport.


Try to disable hardware acceleration in Firefox.

Try to set the gfx.content.azure.enabled pref to false or if this didn't help disable Direct2D by setting the gfx.direct2d.disabled pref to true on the about:config page and leave hardware acceleration otherwise enabled.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

Okay. I updated Rapport. When I started in Safe Mode, the bold and random garbled text problem was gone. However, the bad certificate problem for Paypal remained. I disabled all of the plug-ins and tried Paypal again. The bad certificate didn't come up this time. So is there a quick way to find out which add-on/plug-in is causing problems with my Firefox?

Legendary Contributor

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

Hi TheGDBatgirl, I don't know of a quick way to determine which extension(s) and/or plugin(s) are the problem. I suggest you simply disable everything that is not essential, in other words, you can't browse without them. I suspect the ones in this category are the Shockwave Flash plugin, one or more of your media player plugins, AdBlock Plus, Evernote Web Clipper (if you use it), Xmarks (if you use it), and Greasemonkey and Stylish if you rely on userscripts/userstyles. If you can browse normally with that set, you'll probably discover the culprit when you re-enable it in the future.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

When I used Firefox with Safe Mode, everything is fine. I enabled a couple add-ons and restarted FF. Same problem. I disabled those add-ons. Same problem. The only time it doesn't do it is if I am in Safe Mode. I am really confused.

Site Moderator

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

Did you try to disable hardware acceleration in Firefox?

New Contributor

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

Yes. Still the same.

First I reset Firefox. Same thing. Uninstalled completely and reinstalled, same thing and now I'm getting this on almost every website:

www.google.com uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is not trusted because no issuer chain was provided.

(Error code: sec_error_unknown_issuer)

Site Moderator

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

Check out why the site is untrusted (see the Technical details) and if this is caused by a missing intermediate certificate then see if you can install this intermediate certificate from another source.

Some firewalls monitor secure (https) connections and send their own certificate instead of the website's certificate.

You can retrieve the certificate and check details like who issued certificates and expiration dates of certificates.

  • Click the link at the bottom of the error page: "I Understand the Risks"

Let Firefox retrieve the certificate: "Add Exception" -> "Get Certificate".

  • Click the "View..." button and inspect the certificate and check who is the issuer.

You can see more Details like intermediate certificates that are used in the Details pane.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox acting strange yet no spy/malware or viruses found

Turns out the certificate problem was from the eRawards program. I uninstalled that and now I can access Paypal and eBay.

The only problem I'm having now is the randomly garbled text, bold text in Google and other sites, and now, whenever I click in a text box, it turns blue.