I get the PR_END_OF_FILE_ERROR error on two of my three WordPress sites when using current versions of Firefox and Safari on my late 2013 MacBook Pro, macOS 10.15.6. All three sites are hosted on the same ionos.com plan (shared Linux server). I can access the sites from this computer when using Edge (Chromium) and Tor browsers. I can also access them with any browser from my iPhone, iPad, and my wife's late-2013 MacBook Pro with the same macOS and browsers.

When I uninstalled Sophos Home Premium, as attrib suggested, the issue went away. Unfortunately, attrib's solution did not work for me. When I reinstalled Sophos the issue returned.

I also use a Winston Privacy appliance but it filters traffic for our whole home network and should affect all of our devices in the same ways. To be sure, I bypassed Winston and had the same issue.

I let Little Snitch run in passive mode. It did not record any blocked connections to the affected sites. I've also asked friends to visit the sites and they had no issues.

All of this seems to point to some issue on my MacBook Pro but I have been unable to find relevant guidance I can follow to get to the bottom of it.

I am not an under-the-hood expert on macOS or networks but I usually can follow explicit, step-by-step instructions.

  • I forgot to say I asked my web host, ionos.com, to confirm my SSL certs were properly configured. They did confirm. I also ran a report at ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=albuquirky.net on one of the sites in quesiton. I don't understand all of the report's details but it gives the encryption a green overall assessment.
    – Mark
    Jul 19 '20 at 15:03
  • If the problem only occurs when Sophos is installed, it most probably is related to that product. Did you approach their customer support yet?
    – nohillside
    Jul 19 '20 at 15:16
  • I've not contacted Sophos yet. Adding that to my list. Thanks.
    – Mark
    Jul 19 '20 at 18:29
  • I also notice this detail when I drill-down into Firefox's Page Info > Security: 'This website does not supply ownership information.' That may be because I set my domain to limit the information it provides in response to whois searches. If so, I don't know why that would be a security matter.
    – Mark
    Jul 19 '20 at 20:15

I would use the developer console in your browsers to start to look at the web site errors. That almost always shows you the error in these cases, however if there are lots of errors, you may spend some time eliminating them one by one.

Here are step by step directions to get the console on Safari. There are some amazing tutorials on FireFox and I know a lot of people prefer that for this exercise so maybe someone has that experience to share here as an edit or another answer.

The benefit of these tools is you will have actionable items to take to vendors or ask wordpress experts how that error works and which precise URL triggered it. Most Wordpress pages have about 100 to 300 elements on “one page” so the vast majority of things can work and you still see an error thrown.

  • 1
    Thanks, bmike. I was able to work around by creating an exception in Sophos. I do want to discover/fix the root cause. Further reading suggests there may be an issue with some images being links to external unencrypted sources. I need to figure out if that applies. There are paid subscription tools (Really Simple SSL Professional) that do that automatically but I want to limit the number of subscriptions since this my sites are non-commercial (don't seek or make money). My immediate issue is averted but I will follow up on the links you provided during my next maintenance session.
    – Mark
    Jul 19 '20 at 18:28
  • Thank you @Mark It would be great if you answer your own question and accept it. As you learn more you can edit it or change the accepted mark. No need to accept mine until it works.
    – bmike
    Jul 19 '20 at 19:35

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