An Error Occurred in the Underlying Security System

I having a problem with a few clients getting my signed emails in Outlook. The error says “Can’t Open this item. An error occurred in the underlying security system.”

Microsoft has a few error pages that talk about this problem, but they really don’t seem to offer any answers. To clients can’t open any message from me. One of them on her two different computers.

I was willing to ■■■■ this off as the clients problems until I found an Outlook here at the office that does the same thing. I’ve tried every possible setting in Outlook and I can’t open emails from myself. I even installed my certificate on that systme and I still can’t read emails I wrote.

Anyone have any solutions?

I would register at and lodge a support ticket for this.

When/If support come up with an answer, can youplease post the end result back here for the benefit of others.

Ewen :slight_smile:

As I suspect, support was a total waste of time. They asked one silly question and then never replied. Comodo support is very, very, very bad. As much as I want to like Comodo, their support people really ruin it.


If you give me the ticket number I can investigate this.


[SUPPORT #DCX-822540]

They asked what email address the ticket was for and then never replied.


The support team did reply, with this:

This behavior can occur if your digital ID is damaged or corrupted. It can also occur if your digital ID is set up in a single Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 profile environment, and multiple user profiles with a domain log on are enabled.

The default computer profile has full access to the digital ID, but other profiles for Windows cannot use it. Or if the certificate is not installed on the machine.

Resolution can be found in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

Below would be my thoughts:
Check your security settings to make sure they are default.
Tools->Options->Security->Settings (See my settings attached)
If this doesn’t work let me know and I will PM you my personal email address so that you can send me a signed email to see if I get the same problem.


[attachment deleted by admin]

I get that same error, but when sending messages on Outlook 2003. “the underlying security system couldn’t find your digital ID name”.

I’m not in a domain, nor do I have win 95 or 98 (win XP home here).
My security settings are default, but I don’t have SHA1 and 3DES as avaliable algorithm options. Instead I get MD5 as the only hash algorithm and RC2(40, 64 or 128 Bits), Skipjack and DES as encryption algorythm.

Curiously, whenever I try to export the certificate via the Outlook 2003 options, it always ends showing up the message “An error occurred while attempting to export security information” (Translated from the error message in portuguese, may be different in english) and nothing is exported.

Attached are my SMIME settings

Thanks in advance for any help.

[attachment deleted by admin]


What service packs are you running on the OS and on MS Office?

Also, have you made any changes, loaded any other apps, before you noticed the issue?

Do you have more than one email certificate on that machine?


I’m running the latest SP’s by Microsoft as of 22 Jan 2007.

This is the only mail certificate I have and it’s behaving this way ever since I Installed it. I was never able to send signed mails.

Only apps I can think of that could theoretically interfere with the process are Comodo firewall and AOL Active Virus Shield (Kaspersky 6), but I get the same error with both of them disabled…

Thanks for the fast reply


The only thing I can find relating to this type of error is:

It might be item 2, certificate corruption.

If you check out all of this, and decide it might the certificate being corrupted, then submit a ticket to support at and ask them to revoke your certificate so that you can apply for a new one.



Ok, thanks, I’ll do that

I had seen that post already at Microsoft, but it’s specific to Outlook 2000. The first and third points they refer to don’t apply to my case, so that leaves only Certificate corruption as a valid cause… oh well… I’ll ask for a re-issue, as you suggested.

Cheers and thanks for the prompt help (:CLP)

I had a problem similar to this where one of the recipients of my signed email was receiving this error message when trying to open my email message in Office 2007 on Win XP sp3. None of the other recipients of my email had a problem except this one so I knew that my certificate was not damaged. I played with the settings and was able to fix it. I had set the Hashing algorithm to SHA512 on my Outlook configuration and by changing that back to SHA1 all email recipients were now able to open the message. That was all I did and it is reproducible. Hope this helps.


Please submit the ticket in the following link, so that we can assist you further