I'm not sure exactly what the cause of the error is or what version of Websphere you're on (that's key) and what PTFs you have applied. That said, a 403 error occurs for several reasons:
The resource is not mapped through the HTTP server for the WebSphere plugin - WebSphere SHOULD be passed all requests for servlets, JSPs at a minimum. When you click a link on the index HTML page you are invoking a ControlServlet. You can check to see if the URL for the link. The WFRUN jar file where the servlet class is should be in the WEB-INF/lib directory. The web.xml file for the application should specify the ControlServlet to load as well.
Another cause of a 403 error for not authorized can be the WebFacing application has been setup with an invalid userid and password and logon prompting wasn't selected. In the WebFacing tool, check the project properties and CL invocation commands for userid and password. For testing, hardcode a valid one.
Also check to see if you have security enabled for the WebSphere application server instance. Turn it off for testing to eliminate this possible problem (permissions haven't been granted to the page resource etc for the user profile).
Finally look at the WebSphere logs for more detail. You can set logging levels high (to 3) and then check the logs for more detail.
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This was first published in November 2002