Why am I having issues downloading or uploading files?

Uploading Files

Q: When I upload a file in IE11, the entire browser window freezes

A:  This is due to a security issue in IE11 related to hotfix Please remove this security update to allow uploading from IE11 to work properly.


When Downloading Files, Something Goes Wrong

Our files are served from uniquely signed encrypted endpoints at the root  Please verify that this website is unblocked and/or whitelisted for your specific network & machine. 

Q1:  When I attempt to download files, the browser does nothing - displaying a white screen.

A1:  Most likely, your browser and security settings are prompting you to Open or Save the file - but you've got pop-up windows blocked or hidden.

Q2:  When I attempt to download files, the file downloads for a few minutes - but fails before it completes

A2:   For security reasons, we use uniquely signed download URLs for accessing your files.  This means that the link to download is typically only valid for a few minutes until it expires - usually leaving plenty of time to download files in their entirety.  We understand that there may be files of significant size that you store within your individual organizations Vendor Management system, so please contact our support team to have this expiration window adjusted to concur with your own internal security policies & needs.

Q3:  When I attempt to download files, I get a "403 Unauthorized" error

A3:  First, because of #2 - if someone has shared the direct file URL there is a good chance it has now expired.  Please navigate in the Vendor Management system to the document or contract you'd like and initiate a new download from the machine on which you'd like the file.

  • our files are stored in a private encrypted repository which serves files via a SSL ("https://") URL endpoint, there could be several reasons for which you're unable to download encrypted web resources.
  • Because it would divulge unauthorized existence information if we returned a "Hey, we couldn't find that document." - our system returns a "403 Unauthorized" if the specific file ID passed in the final download request URL is not found.  There could be several reasons that your system is either truncating or improperly encoding this final URL request resulting in a not found document.


Unable to Download Encrypted Resources

Several browsers, as a security feature, disallow the downloading of encrypted web resources to your local machine - this means our signed encrypted URLs pointing at the file you're attempting to download fail.  

  • For IE - Open your 'Internet Options' and on the 'Advanced' tab make sure that
    • Downloads Are Enabled
    • Do not save encrypted pages to disk is unchecked


More Technical Tips for your IT Support

If you've completed the other troubleshooting steps above, please contact your internal IT department to assist in debugging your specific issue.

Mutation of the Final Signed URL Request

Along with a signed temporary key, an encrypted file unique identifier is included in the URL which ultimately serves the file securely to your local machine for download.  If this final download URL is mutated, truncated, or otherwise changed the resulting error from the file server(s) will be a "403 Unauthorized". 

Manipulation of Content Headers in Strict Security Environments

We assume that when a browser makes the GET request, it won't provide a Content-MD5 or a Content-Type header, nor will it set any x-amz- headers, so those parts of the StringToSign are left blank.  Our signed URLs are authenticated by REST parameters included in the request - this means if browser and/or network proxy set any custom headers on the request the Signature will fail.

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