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sol7921: Error Message: Failed to convert character
Error MessageError Message

Original Publication Date: 01/20/2009
Updated Date: 07/05/2011

When the BIG-IP ASM is unable to convert the character strings using the language encoding defined within the security policy, the BIG-IP ASM reports the following error message:

Failed to convert character

The BIG-IP ASM Application Language setting specifies the default character encoding set for the web application. The language encoding determines how the security policy processes the character sets.

Workaround

You can work around this issue by allowing a Failed to convert character string to pass the BIG-IP ASM. To do so, perform the following procedure:

  1. Log in to the BIG-IP ASM Configuration utility.
  2. Select Application Security.
  3. Select Web Applications.
  4. Select the name of the web application you are using.
  5. From the Application Security menu on the left, select Violations from the Learning section.
  6. Verify that this is a valid request.

    Note: If the request is legitimate, verify that site has the correct Application Language set or site encoding defined. Language localization may change this behavior. Language localization will serve a different language page, such as index.html.en, which may have a different encoding set for each page or language. It may be necessary to ensure that all pages are using the same encoding.

For more information about how to validate the encoding of your site, refer to SOL6335: Overview of encoding language settings for the Application Security Manager.

Verifying that the BIG-IP ASM is using the correct language or encoding set

To verify that the BIG-IP ASM is using the correct language or encoding set, perform the following procedure:

  1. Log in to the BIG-IP ASM Configuration utility.
  2. Select Application Security.
  3. Select Web Applications.
  4. Select the name of the web application you are using.
  5. Verify or change the Application Language accordingly.

Changing the Application Language

If the Application Language is incorrect, you can change it by performing the following procedure:

  1. Click the Reconfigure button.

    You will be prompted with the following message:

    Are you sure you want to reconfigure the Web Application? All policies and statistics will be lost!
  2. Click OK.
  3. Select the desired language from the Application Language drop-down box.
  4. Click Update.

Disabling blocking mode

If the Application Language is correct and the BIG-IP ASM is still reporting Failed to convert character, then you will need to disable blocking mode for this violation. To do so, perform the following procedure:

  1. Select Policy.
  2. Select Settings from the Blocking menu.
  3. Clear the Blocking check box under Input Violations for the Failed to convert character violation setting.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Click Apply Policy.

After you have completed this procedure, you will not receive blocking response pages for Failed to convert character violations. Instead, the messages will be reported in the Requests log.

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