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Network and Email Security Infrastructure Changes FAQ

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Why did IS&T move MIT incoming email to Office 365 (O365) security infrastructure (including spam filtering)?

In early December, email services at MIT were impacted by malicious traffic focused on security infrastructure systems. This caused delays in delivery of email between both the mit.edu and alum.mit.edu domains and addresses outside MIT. Email delivery within MIT remained unaffected.

In response, Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) migrated email security infrastructure to a cloud-based platform, Microsoft Office 365, and email delivery has returned to normal.

Why am I not getting all my mail anymore?

Updates were recently made to the security infrastructure (see above) that caused some issues with spam filtering and mail delivery. Office 365 email security infrastructure was implemented on incoming MIT email. Its spam filtering is slightly different than the previous system, so you may see changes in which messages are identified as spam.

How do I release messages that are being held as spam by O365 spam filtering with my alum.mit.edu account?

From Spam Notification Emails

Your daily "Spam Notification" messages contain a link that will allow you to release messages directly from the email. This is currently the only method currently available for alum.mit.edu accounts.

From the Quarantine.

IS&T is actively working on a direct quarantine login solution for alum accounts, but at this time it is only available for @mit.edu accounts.

  1. Visit https://protection.office.com/
    1. If you are not already logged in to MIT's Office 365, you will be prompted to sign in.
    2. Enter your @mit.edu email address
    3. Click Next
    4. Click Work or school account
    5. You will be taken to Touchstone@MIT to log in.
  2. Your filtered messages are available under Threat Management -> Review -> Quarantine

Notes:

  • To release messages, select them and click the “Release messages” button in the right sidebar
  • Click the “Release messages” button again in the confirmation dialog
  • By default the released message will be copied to Microsoft to improve their quarantine behavior in the future. You can opt out by unchecking the "Report messages to Microsoft for analysis" box.
  • Note that released messages are sent to your inbox right away, but will also remain in your quarantine list for a period of time; you do not need to release them again

Why isn't my Spam Quarantine white list or black list (also known as good senders and bad senders) working properly anymore?

When Office 365 email security infrastructure (spam filtering) was implemented on incoming MIT email, your black and white lists were not transferred. You will need to recreate them in the new system.

  1. Visit OWA
  2. Top-right Gear Icon or Options > See All Options
  3. Make sure the Automatically filter junk email radio button is selected
    • White listed recipients can be added to “safe senders and recipients,” and denied senders added to “blocked senders.”
    • Mail sent to blocked senders should be automatically filtered to the user’s quarantine page at https://protection.office.com/ (see above for more information).

O365 Spam Filtering does not allow you to block senders inside your organization (with an @mit.edu address). A workaround for this is to use Filters

Recipients aren't receiving some bulk email messages

Microsoft’s Office 365 anti-spam infrastructure has identified some third-party email marketing tools used by the MIT community – including MailChimp, MailJet, Constant Contact, and IBM Watson – as potential “bad senders”, causing some bulk messages from these services to the MIT community to be quarantined. IS&T is actively working with members of the community who use bulk mailers to ensure email delivery and preventative steps for future campaigns.

Why has what appears in the "From" field changed and how do I switch it back?

This is due to the changes in our email architecture to implement O365 email security infrastructure. Please see the following article for details and workarounds:

Why am I not receiving reports from SpamQuarantine@mit.edu? What happened to the Spam Quarantine service?

MIT’s Spam Quarantine service was transitioned to Microsoft’s Office 365 Protection service. Reports from SpamQuarantine@mit.edu cease on December 12, 2018; reports from quarantine@messaging.microsoft.com begin December 13.

How do I request a custom display name for my list?

IS&T can set a custom "displayName" value for your Moira list in the Office 365 Active Directory to help you resolve this issue. This friendly name will then be automatically shown to MIT users receiving your mail if the sender is set to that Moira list. Once the displayName is changed, it will appear automatically for new mail you send to MIT recipients. You do not need to make any changes to your settings in Constant Contact, Mailjet, or other mail distribution service.

Please contact the IS&T Service Desk at servicedesk@mit.edu to request a custom "displayName" for your Moira list. Be sure to include:

  1. The name of the Moira list you use as the "From"/sender address in your emails
  2. The friendly name you would like to set for this address; this name can contain spaces and capitalization

What happens if I "Report as Not Junk" from my spam notification email?

Your message is sent to Microsoft as an example of a false positive to help improve their algorithm for determining SPAM in the future. This does not necessarily prevent the sender's messages from getting to you in the future nor will it prevent similar messages from reaching you in the short term.

To prevent a sender from contacting you again, add them to your Blocked Senders List.

Related Links

Additional information for Help Staff can be found here: [istdraft:Internal Email Security Infrastructure Changes FAQ]

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

January 16, 2019

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