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How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

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New Contributor

How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

Firefox just made me update to 13.0.1, and now I can't search on with google, yahoo, ixquick, or startpage. Whenever I do I get this:

Secure Connection Failed

An error occurred during a connection to startpage.com.

SSL received a record with an incorrect Message Authentication Code.

(Error code: ssl_error_bad_mac_read)

I've tried reinstalling it, installing older versions, and troubleshooting pages, but nothing works. I can go to websites that I have favorited or ones that I have links too, but I can't just use search bars. Does anyone else have this problem, and know how to fix it?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Site Moderator

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

Who issued the 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.


Do a malware check with some malware scanning programs on the Windows computer.
You need to scan with all programs because each program detects different malware.
Make sure that you update each program to get the latest version of their databases before doing a scan.

You can also do a check for a rootkit infection with TDSSKiller.

See also:

13 REPLIES
Site Moderator

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

Check the connection settings.

If you do not need to use a proxy to connect to internet then select "No Proxy" if the default "Use the system proxy settings" setting doesn't work.

See "Firefox connection settings":


Start Firefox in Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem (switch to the DEFAULT theme: Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Appearance/Themes).

New Contributor

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

I tried that, and now this pops up: An error occurred during a connection to startpage.com.

You have received an invalid certificate. Please contact the server administrator or email correspondent and give them the following information:

Your certificate contains the same serial number as another certificate issued by the certificate authority. Please get a new certificate containing a unique serial number.

(Error code: sec_error_reused_issuer_and_serial)

Have any idea what to do?

I've also noticed that it does try to pop up the search results (and every once in a while will pop them up), but most of the time it just gives me what I listed in the above question.

Site Moderator

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

Does anything come up on the about:config page via the location bar if you enter startpage in the Search bar at the top of the about:config page?

New Contributor

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

No, nothing.

Site Moderator

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

Who issued the 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.


Do a malware check with some malware scanning programs on the Windows computer.
You need to scan with all programs because each program detects different malware.
Make sure that you update each program to get the latest version of their databases before doing a scan.

You can also do a check for a rootkit infection with TDSSKiller.

See also:

New Contributor

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

I ran all those scans, and found nothing. Also, the certificate page only popped up twice, and when it did, there was no button to click to see the certificate. It just told me what I posted above.

I didn't find out until just now, but it's also doing it on my other computer (and that updated like a week ago).

Site Moderator

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

Did you check who issued that untrusted certificate [*]?

New Contributor

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

It says it's verified by godaddy.com (I don't really know what I'm looking for), and that everything's been verified.

Site Moderator

Re: How do I fix an Message Authentication Code problem

That looks OK. I see that the certificate is issued by Go Daddy Secure Certification Authority.

Try to rename the cert8.db file in the Firefox profile folder to cert8.db.old or delete the cert8.db file to remove intermediate certificates that Firefox has stored.
If that helped to solve the problem then you can remove the renamed cert8.db.old file.
Otherwise you can rename (or copy) the cert8.db.old file to cert8.db to restore the previous intermediate certificates.
Firefox will automatically store intermediate certificates when you visit websites that send such a certificate.

You can use this button to go to the Firefox profile folder:

  • Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Open Containing Folder