Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trusteer Rapport Problems

Over the past month or so I have had half-a-dozen PCs in with serious problems which turned out to be caused by Trusteer Rapport. Now, fixing PCs is what I do for a living so I guess I shouldn't complain that all the online banks who promote Rapport are generating work for me. Nevertheless, it just seems wrong that a product which is supposed to protect people ends up stopping them using their computers. Anyway, a lot of my customers I have known for years and I hate to see their time and money wasted.

Half of the crippled PCs simply wouldn't start at all: windows was just giving a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) and promptly rebooting. The other half started okay but Internet Explorer wouldn't run. These are, of course, typical virus symptoms, so I wasted time (and money) running thorough virus checks.

The BSOD machines would start in Safe Mode so, once viruses were ruled out, I was able to load a tool I use which tells me which drivers have crashed the system. Once I had identified that the drivers causing problems had names like 'rapportxx' I was able to rename all Rapport drivers and so start Windows properly. After that I restored the driver names and (without rebooting) uninstalled Rapport. Problem solved, and I simply added a note to the invoice to tell the customer what the problem was and suggesting that, if they believe Rapport to be useful protection, they should talk to their bank to download a fresh copy from scratch.

In the cases where Internet Explorer wouldn't run, once I had eliminated the thousand and one other causes of IE problems, I was able to find a FAQ entry on the Trusteer website telling me what to do in that situation - quite how anyone is meant to find that FAQ when their internet browser isn't working is another matter. The FAQ tells us to start Rapport Console (a program in the Start/All Programs list), to burrow deep into its settings to find the one which is about protecting Rapport from tampering, and to turn it off. Hey presto, the internet is back. The fact that there is a FAQ entry there implies that this is not an uncommon problem; the fact that Rapport fails to give any error messages as it disables Internet Explorer implies that people are unlikely to look at the Trusteer website for their FAQ because they wouldn't know they need to.

If Rapport was just another piece of Internet Security software, chosen and installed by the users themselves, these problems wouldn't be so bad - all software has its issues and antivirus programs in particular are inclined to go wrong, because they are always on the frontline of the battle against the bad guys trying to use our PCs to steal money. But Trusteer Rapport is not just another security program: it is very heavily pushed by the internet banks onto users who are not technologically savvy and who believe what their banks tell them. Those banks should not be promoting software which doesn't have the quality control in place to avoid breaking users' PCs and/or disabling their internet access, particularly when it does not even give clues that it is Rapport doing the breaking.

The first couple of Trusteer Rapport problems I encountered, I just assumed that they had released a duff update and it was a one-off. Now I am suggesting to customers that they might want to have a word with their bank to find out just why they are promoting software which is costing said customers time and money by breaking their computers.


  1. Thanks BlackPhi for this info.. i was at my bank site and they suggested i download rapport,, being i'm really leary of a bank giving away something for free and also my concern of the internet and my money,i did a google search on the product and came to your site.I won't be downloading until i see a note on my bank site saying it's safe and they will guarantee it .

  2. To be fair, I haven't seen any Rapport problems for a couple of months now. Nevertheless, I don't have it installed on my main PC, and don't intend to do so, as I really don't trust them that far (but then I do trust my other layers of virus protection, and Rapport is mostly aimed at those who are not so well protected).

  3. What's the setting that you have to change? I've got a user with the problem. She's logged onto our bank site and it requires this to be installed before it will let you in. Once it's installed, IE 8 will not start. It just starts and then closes out. Firefox will start, but then other sites won't pull up popups and such. I went into the security policy of Rapport and set everything to never, but then the bank site acts as though Rapport isn't installed and you're back to square one. I need a link the FAQ or just an answer. Thank you.

  4. I have to say that if I had a bank who refused to give me online access to my account unless I had a piece of third-party software installed which is known to cause problems for some users then I would be looking for another bank.

    However, to answer your question: the setting I changed was described at under the heading 'I cannot connect to the Internet - my browser does not work'.

    Basically it says:-

    1. Open Rapport Console:

    a. Click the Rapport icon, located next to the browser's address bar, and then click "Open Console", or

    b. Click Start -> All Programs -> Trusteer Rapport -> Rapport Console

    2. Change the policy by following these steps:

    a. At the bottom of the console there is a green right arrow - click it

    b. Click "Edit Policy"

    c. Enter the letters as they are shown in the image and then click OK.

    d. Find "Protect Rapport from Unauthorized Removal " (11th row)

    e. Next to "Protect Rapport from Unauthorized Removal ", Click the drop down menu and choose "Never"

    f. Click "Save"

    3. Reboot your computer

  5. Hi,

    I'm having problems with this (or at least I think I am). I've tried the fix above but no joy. The Console won;t even open. How can I get in touch so I can bring my computer in for you to take a look?


  6. Hi Matt. Assuming you live in or near to Caversham/Reading, then give me a ring on 0118-9479395 and we can arrange a time.


  7. I had the same problems, starting in February 2013. I had had rapport (from NatWest) running perfectly well for a year or so before this. I had never had the blue-screen crash before, so I was seriously disconcerted. Every time I did a system restore, Rapport kept reinstalling itself. Eventually I went into programmes and deleted any reference to Rapport, and have had no probs since. Interestingly I notified Trusteer about this and they denied there was any chance of their software causing my problems!

  8. If in doubt, deny everything.

    To be fair, we live in an age when a frank comment can go around the world in minutes. I suspect the banks - nice people that they are - would drop them in a second if they thought their own bottom lines were threatened.

    It is disappointing that Rapport problems are back though. Hopefully this time it'll be a one-off and they'll get the problem fixed immediately, rather than taking months to get a grip, like last time.

  9. BSOD and continual auto-re-boot last week. My computer whizz kid has just phoned to say: "Rapport" . It has been installed since first release without problem. I'll notify Trusteer and my bank - perhaps they will pay the bill !

  10. You never know! I'm now getting more PCs in with Rapport problems too, so they clearly haven't sorted their update testing. I don't object so much to things going wrong, that's the nature of frequently updated software, what I do hate is the way that it cripples your PC when it does go wrong. There's no graceful failover at all.

    If you can get into Windows at all, then remove and reinstall seems to work with current problems. Assuming you want to put the troublesome software back, of course - although I have been told some banks insist on you having it before they'll let you use their online banking.

  11. The problem I have seen today is with the newest version of Trusteer Endpoint Protection using all available RAM when IE9 starts on a Vista system with McAfee Security Centre 11.6.

    This problem goes away if the McAfee Site Advisor addon is disabled in IE.

  12. They're probably both trying to intercept the same calls and failing to handle it. Another example of a design that cannot cope with the unexpected. I'll keep my eyes open for that one, thanks.

  13. I never had any major problems with Rapport other than the icon disappearing from the address bar after an update in Firefox. A reinstall always fixes the problem.

  14. Another possible Rapport issue is getting a blank screen for 5-10 seconds when switching users on a machine (see Have you also seen this problem? Any solutions?!

    1. To update this - I was experiencing 22-24 sec of black screen when logging off (after the 'Logging off...' prompt appeared, to when the list of users appeared) or switching users. I just uninstalled Trusteer and there is now just a momentary pause of less than a second! So this was definitely caused by Trusteer Rapport in some way.

  15. Hi Ian. Trusteer can be quite aggressive in protecting itself - for example, as the bleepingcomputer conversation illustrates, it refuses to turn off for a clean boot. It is possible that it is refusing to shut down cleanly for a log off/switch.

    Sometimes I have found that uninstalling then reinstalling helps with Trusteer problems: they seem to be quite slow rolling updates out, including fixes. Otherwise, if you really want to keep the product installed, you could try their support system: see

    Or, unless your bank is stroppy about it, you could leave Rapport uninstalled and use an antivirus that checks websites (and/or just make sure you always enter your bank's website address yourself, rather than using a dodgy link from an email or mistyped search).

  16. Hi,
    I also fix computers for a living, and over the past two years, I must have forcibly remove Rapport from about 30 computers due to the problems you have detailed.
    It normally seems to coincide with an entry in the System Restore that Rapport has just done an update.
    Rapport do have a removal tool that you can download, should you only be able to gain access to Safe Mode.

  17. Hi Darren.
    Yes, I too am pretty sure it is updates that cause the problems. Basically their testing process isn't up to scratch. Other a/v products have also had problems over the years, but Trusteer appear to me to have an architecture which leaves it far too likely to trash the PC when something goes wrong.
    Thanks for the info on the removal tool, although I see that even this is a pain to get at: at present, you have to fill in a form to request a link to get it (see IMO this is really shoddy.

  18. I finally installed this. Thought since the bank recommended it I would be OK. Firefox screen started going black when a page was loading, sometimes it would come back, sometimes it would stay black, then intermittent freezing, finally Firefox would crash. I work with my computer and was visiting the same web pages I do every day. I am not very computer savy, but it seemed this program was using so much ram that there was not enough to run all programs. I used their uninstall tool to remove it, and the black screens, freezing and crashing immediately stopped, but now many safe webpages will not load in Firefox and I am forced to use chrome for work.. Very big mistake installing this..Jim

  19. It is very difficult when your bank recommends something to ignore that recommendation.

    I would recommend that (if you haven't already) you do a full system scan with a trustworthy and up-to-date anti-virus program ... just in case. Note that most anti-virus programs have an upgraded version released every year, and most of them are NOT updated automatically for this. Many of them have a year in the title, so you can tell; Norton requires that you find the option to 'Check for new version'. If you download such an upgrade, watch out for attempts to up-sell you to a more expensive option.

    It may be worth trying a 'reset' on Firefox to see if that clears the problem, see .

  20. Had Rapport (from Barclays, I think) for some time with no problems. But have just had week of computer hell, unable to add attachments to emails or download images to website I'm responsible for. Everything just froze. BSOD, which I'd never seen before, came up umpteen times. System Restore showed Rapport updates/reinstalls at every problem moment. Doing complete uninstall (using Revo Uninstaller to get rid -- I hope -- of all the awkward bits that otherwise linger) has worked a treat.