Update 27/01 | Microsoft spam policy update: receiving Scorion invitation and reminder emails

Published Categorised as News

Update January 27
During the analysis on Jan. 26, it was found that an adjustment in the DKIM configuration leads to improvement. Therefore, we have decided to adjust the configuration for all DKIM organizations. We expect to have this adjustment completed for all DKIM organizations by next Tuesday, Jan. 31.

It is important to note that emails from Scorion will simply be sent from the student’s name (as you are used to), but the email address visible in the emails will be noreply@scorion.nl. This means that feedback providers can no longer reply to Scorion emails.

Update Jan. 25
Analysis has shown that for a large portion of the organizations working with Scorion, the mail issue with Microsoft Office has been fixed. For a few organizations that have specific mail settings in the Scorion configuration (DKIM), mails may still end up in the spam box. For two organizations with this DKIM configuration, we are currently testing a modification of this. We can implement this adaptation in Scorion without the ICT department of the organization working with Scorion having to do anything.

Today we are completing the tests. The first results we receive are promising. Thursday, January 26, we will analyze all test results. Should it turn out that this DKIM modification does indeed improve Microsoft Office’s mail handling, we will start setting all organizations using Scorion with DKIM that way. We expect to have this modification implemented for all those organizations before the weekend (Jan. 28).

Update January 17, 2023
The software modification was tested this morning and put live this afternoon. We expect the issues to be resolved.

Update January 16, 2023
After extensive research, we know that not only are orange text blocks being blocked, but strange non-visible characters are also causing them not to pass Microsoft’s Spam filter.

In addition, we are in contact with Microsoft to see which policy (quarantine and/or spam) has been changed and is now causing problems. We are currently working hard on an update that does a check on the input side and at the time the mail is compiled for sending. This check ensures that the foreign characters are filtered out of the mails, causing them to arrive again. This software modification in Scorion is now being programmed with high priority and tested and put live as soon as possible.

Update January 13, 2023: temporary solution found!

The problem
The problem that some emails sent by Scorion are not arriving occurs exclusively with office 365 users. The reason is that Microsoft has made a change to the rules governing spam, which causes Scorion emails to be “quarantined” and “blocked. Microsoft has informed us that they will provide a solution in the near future. Until then, the Scorion team is providing a temporary solution.

What exactly is causing Scorion mail to be blocked?
The cause is in the subject of the mail being sent. This applies to both invitation emails and reminders. There is some sort of code in Scorion’s invitation emails (e.g., “Form Title” that is automatically replaced with the actual title of the form when sent. These “codes” look like an orange text block.

Until Microsoft fixes the problem, we temporarily remove those codes from the subject line of the mail. This means that only “Invitation Scorion” will appear in the subject line. The disadvantage is that you can no longer see in the subject which form it is. For that you have to open the mail. But at least the mail arrives. For already inserted forms the invitation and reminder text is unfortunately already created with the form. This happens when the form is inserted. There is a solution for that too.

New forms
For forms that are new or inserted after Friday, January 13, 5 p.m., we have temporarily solved the problem. Namely, we have removed all pieces of code throughout Scorion from the subject. Hence, all invitations will be titled “Invitation Scorion” from now on. As soon as Microsoft fixes the problem this will be reinstated.

Should there still be one or more of these “orange text blocks” in the subject line when you send a form, please remove them anyway.

Forms already submitted (not yet sent)
So for forms that have already been inserted, the mail (with the codes blocked by Microsoft) is already ready. If you are going to send them, you can remove the codes. The mail will then arrive as usual. This also applies to reminders.

Forms already sent (that did not arrive)
Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly as of what point Microsoft made the change. We are still searching for a solution to this. Scorion received the first reports from January 12. If you are in doubt whether the mail has been sent, you can send a reminder. Make sure to remove the orange “codes” from the subject line.

Message January 12, 2022:
We have found that certain mails sent from Scorion are entering the quarantine folder of Microsoft Office mail. This is due to a change in Microsoft’s spam policy earlier today. We are not experiencing any problems with other mail providers.

We have already contacted Microsoft to see if this can be resolved. The action is currently with Microsoft and we are waiting for it.

We find the situation very annoying and as soon as more is known we will communicate about it.

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