Answered By: Digital Library Services Team
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017     Views: 607

The symptoms

On attempting to log into any Shibboleth-authenticated services from your web browser, you will get a login box, but when you submit your details, the login will fail, displaying a Shibboleth error page.

Systems affected

  • Any PC with a combination of Windows Vista/Windows 7 + Internet Explorer + Sophos Version 9.

Systems NOT affected

  • Windows XP systems, including all of those managed by the University.
  • Anything that doesn’t have this Internet Explorer / Sophos 9 combination.


Use an alternative browser. Firefox and Chrome are freely available and do not exhibit this behaviour.


This issue has been reported to Sophos, as this is the root cause of the problem.

A recent update (as of May 2011) sent out in version 9 has a change to the Sophos Web Content Scanner IE Extension.

Disabling this plugin fixes the problem and we hope to get Sophos to send this fix out urgently to resolve the issue.

Disabling the plugin in Internet Explorer

  • Go to Tools - Manage Add-ons
  • In the list of Toolbars and Extensions there is a Sophos Web Content Scanner. Select it by clicking on it so it is highlighted.
  • Either right click and select Disable, or click the Disable button at the bottom right of the Manage Add-ons window.
  • Close the Manage Add-ons window.