Cryptocurrency’s liquidity problem

It was only a week ago I wrote How do I know which cryptocurrencies will go up in value. It’s not easy, and is a lot of work. My personal view of cryptocurrency and blockchains that their social value lies in their utility – what problems do they solve, and how effectively do they it? At…

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If you use Office 365 but your MX record doesn’t point to Office, you may want to close down your security settings

Even though it’s not a recommend configuration for our customers (in terms of spam filtering), some customers of Office 365 route their email through a competing spam filtering service in the cloud, or through an on-prem server. That is, the mail flow looks like this: I’ve written previously about the problems this can cause, see…

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Will blockchain turn out to be another one of tech’s false prophets?

Disclaimer – If you haven’t read my disclaimer yet, make sure you do so here. TL;DR version – Buyer beware, I am not an expert, I am fumbling my way through this like the rest of you. Also, I hold a little bit of Bitcoin and Ethereum. The promise certainly sounds good Blockchain promises us something…

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How do I know which cryptocurrencies will go up in value?

Disclaimer – If you haven’t read my disclaimer yet, make sure you do so here. TL;DR version – Buyer beware, I am not an expert, I am fumbling my way through this like the rest of you. Also, I hold a little bit of Bitcoin and Ethereum. As I’ve started learning more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies,…

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Let’s talk about cryptocurrencies and blockchain

Disclaimer I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post for a while now. But I’ve deferred, thinking “I’m too much of a noob. What value can I possibly add to the discussion?” But that’s the point. When I’m not sure what I think, what I like to do is write things down to better organize…

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Making sure your junk email filtering is enabled in Office 365

If you’re a user of Office 365 with a hosted mailbox, there may be times when a message ends up in your inbox despite the fact that it was marked as spam. When this occurs, it may be because you have (somehow) disabled junk mail filtering. When this occurs, email is still marked as spam,…

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When creating support tickets about spam, be sure to include message headers

When users get spam and phishing messages in the inbox, we ask users to submit them back to us, using the instructions here: Submit spam, non-spam, and phishing scam messages to Microsoft for analysis. I explain why this is important in Why does spam and phishing get through Office 365? And what can be done…

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How to securely add a sender to an allow list in Office 365

Background We sometimes see users creating allow rules, either through Exchange Transport Rules (ETRs), or Domain Allows, or Safe Senders, when they want to receive email from senders. However, they frequently do this insecurely; spammers then spoof the sending domain (or even the full email address) which skips all spam filtering and the message lands…

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A short intro to how the Phishing Confidence Level (PCL) works

This is a rough description of how the Phishing Confidence Level (PCL) works in Office 365. Way back in the olden days – 2007 or so – Exchange server used to have its own spam filter, Smartscreen. This was more-or-less the same spam filter running in Outlook.com. But whereas Smartscreen in Outlook.com (then known as…

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Does SPF need an update to handle non-existent includes? I say yes.

Over the past month, my team and I have been going over logs in our system, looking for SPF PermErrors and trying to figure out how many we had, and the root cause of them. As it turns out, there are lots of things that cause a permanent SPF failure. The most common examples are…

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A second update to the problem of email forwarding in Office 365

18 months ago, I wrote the following blog post: Why does my email from Facebook, that I forward from my outlook.com account, get rejected. 6 (ish) months ago, I provided an update at An update on the forwarding email problem in Office 365 where I said that we made a change such that Exchange Transport Rules…

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How we got to enforce DMARC for sub-domains of Microsoft’s largest consumer email brands

I couldn’t believe it. I had been blind for ages. Why had I not seen it before? The month was August 2017, and none of Microsoft’s largest consumer email brands – msn.com, live.com, hotmail.com, and outlook.com – had DMARC reject records in place. Not one. As a result, we were still seeing lots and lots…

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Blocking invalid From: addresses in Office 365

A couple of weeks ago, we made an announcement in Office 365 that we would be implementing stricter checks of the From: address, starting Nov 9, 2017. You can find that at How Office 365 validates the From: address to prevent phishing. I won’t repeat everything in that article as you can click and read…

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