[Faccus] Problem with Firefox 30 for OSX and SharePoint (IIS Authetication fails)

Heather Wey hawey at uwaterloo.ca
Wed Jun 25 16:50:31 EDT 2014

What is happening? Apple computers (OSX) running Firefox 30 cannot connect to SharePoint sites (https://sharepoint.uwaterloo.ca/sites/<YourSite<https://sharepoint.uwaterloo.ca/sites/%3cYourSite>>)
Firefox (30.0) for Mac displays an error message "401 UNAUTHORIZED" when trying to go to any SharePoint site - the authentication prompt is never displayed.

What has changed? The developers (Mozilla) of Firefox have dropped support for an older authentication protocol that Microsoft IIS based services may allow for authentication called NTLMv1.
NTMLv1 has some known security issues. On Windows devices IIS will use NTLMv2 by default. Firefox does not support NTLMv2 on non-windows systems.

What is the solution?  First recommended solution is to use another browser. On OSX devices Safari does work correctly with SharePoint (and any other IIS based service).
An alternative solution is to not use the Firefox rapid release version, in a business environment the Firefox ESR line is the recommended version as it does not update as often.
For those that do not wish to change browsers and are comfortable changing security settings the following steps may be taken:
(NOTE: given that it is a security risk and there are other options, you may want to think about the implications.)
In Firefox:

  *   Type about:config in the URL address bar and hit Enter.
  *   Accept the warning.
  *   Type NTLM in the Search bar at the top.
  *   Right-click network.negotiate-auth.allow-insecure-ntlm-v1 and select Toggle.
  *   Then close Firefox and restart.
  *   See if you can access that SharePoint website without getting that 401 message.
Detailed instructions can be found at: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Firefox/Releases/30/Site_Compatibility#Security
Questions/concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk (CHIP), helpdesk at uwaterloo.ca<mailto:helpdesk at uwaterloo.ca> or ext. 84357.
Recipients of this message: isthd, ist-staff, admin-support, faccus, uwWeb, ctsc, ucist, MSC, SSO

Heather Wey
IST Communications
University of Waterloo
519-888-4567 x35878
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