Report mail as a spam – junk to Microsoft part 2#2 5/5 (1) 11 min read

In this article, we will review that way that Office 365 customers can deal with a scenario of False positive.

In a scenario of False positive, the Office 365 mail security infrastructure (Exchange Online Protection), did not manage to identify spam E-mail, mail and we need to inform the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team about the issue.
In this case, we will need to report about the spam mail by using the E-mail address: junk@office365.microsoft.com

The Report mail as spam – junk to Microsoft article series, including the following articles:

Report a mail as spam\junk |OWA versus Outlook

A couple of details about OWA and Outlook clients regarding the subject of: Report a mail as spam\junk (or non-spam\junk mail).

  • OWA mail client – the OWA menu that enables users to report an E-mail item as a spam E-mail, exists only for “OWA Exchange 2013? client. (Exchange Online recipients are hosted on Exchange 2013).
  • Outlook mail client – the ability to report a mail item as a spam E-mail is not included by default as part of the standard Outlook menu options (don’t ask me why, I cannot find a good reason why not include this option as a standard part of the Outlook client options). To be able to “add” the report menu option, we will need to install an Outlook add-on named: Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook

Report spam junk mail to Microsoft -The mail client.jpg

1. Reporting a specific mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” by using OWA mail client

As mentioned, the advantage of using the OWA mail client for reporting about spam\junk mail, is that the report junk menu is a built-in menu for Office 365 OWA users (or Exchange 2013 on-Premises server OWA users).
In case that you want to report a particular mail item as a: “spam\junk,” right click on the mail item and choose the menu: Mark as junk

Reporting a specific mail item as a - SPAM mai by using OWA mail client 01.jpg
The complete the “report procedure” chooses the option: report

Reporting a specific mail item as a - SPAM mai by using OWA mail client 02.jpg

As a result, a copy of the mail item will be sent to the Microsoft team that handles the mail security of Office 365 and Exchange Online (the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team).
OWA mail client doesn’t provide any information about the “report as junk” process. For example, we will not be able to find the E-mail that sent to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team despite that fact that the
E-mail sent.
In case that you want to verify that the mail sent to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team, you can use one of the following options:

  1. Using the Exchange Online message, trace option – the information about the mail that was sent to the Microsoft abuse team appears in the message trace report. For more information about the option to view the E-mail that sent, look at the section: Viewing the E-mail that sent to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team.
  2. Using Outlook mail client – one of the advantages of using the Outlook mail client for reporting a particular mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” is that we can see “evidence” for the E-mail that sent to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team. For more information about the option to view the E-mail that sent when using Outlook, look at the section: Reporting mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” by using Outlook mail client

Junk reporting setting in OWA

The OWA mail client includes a setting option that relates to the feature of Junk Mail reporting. You can access the configuration settings of: Junk mail reporting by using the setting icon and choosing the Options menu.

Junk reporting setting in OWA -001.jpg

On the left menu bar, choose the Junk reporting option.
In the following screenshot, we can see the available option. For example, in case that we want to report specific mail items as: “spam\junk mail” without the need to approve the operation (the message windows that appear), we can choose the option of Automatically send reports.

Junk reporting setting in OWA -002.jpg

Viewing the E-mail that sent to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team.

When using the OWA for reporting a mail as a spam\junk mail (or a non-spam\junk mail) and automatic report that includes attachment of the mail is created and sent to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team. For some reason, the automatic mail message doesn’t appear in the OWA sent item folder.
In case that you want to see information about the mail report that was sent by the OWA, we can use the Exchange Online option of message trace.
In the following screenshot, we can see information that spam\junk report that was sent by Office 365 recipients.
In our scenario, we can see that the Office 365 recipient creates two different reports:

  • Report about spam\junk mail – the report was sent to the E-mail address: junk@office365.microsoft.com
    Viewing the E-mail that sent to the Microsoft abuse team -01.jpg

Another nice trick that you can use to bypass the disability of the OWA to display the report that is sent to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team is: create a server rule (transport rule), that sends a copy (CC or BCC) of mail that sent from the Office 365 recipients to an additional recipient.

When a particular Office 365 send a report about a spam\junk mail, a copy of the report will be sent to the “other recipient” that configured in the transport rule.
In the following screenshot, we can see an example of a mail report that was sent by an Office 365 recipients when he chose the option of reporting mail “not junk.”

Viewing the E-mail that sent to the Microsoft abuse team -02.jpg
In the following section, we can see an example, in the report that sent to the Microsoft abuse team:

This message was automatically generated by the Junk Mail Reporting Tool in Outlook Web App. The attachment and information below will help Microsoft improve the quality of its junk mail filters in the future.
Received: from DB3PR05MB0668.eurprd05.prod.outlook.com (10.255.184.24) byDBXPR05MB0669.eurprd05.prod.outlook.com (10.255.179.21) with Microsoft SMTPServer (TLS) id 15.1.26.15 via Mailbox Transport; Wed, 3 Dec 2014 10:40:20

2. Reporting mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” by using Outlook mail client

As mentioned, the other mail client that we can use for reporting a specific mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” is an Outlook mail client. Outlook client does not include by default an option for reporting spam\junk mail.
The outlook client includes a SPAM engine and a menu option for managing Junk mail settings, but these “junk mail management options” doesn’t relate to the options of “reporting spam\junk mail.” To be able to use the “report option”, we will need to install an Outlook add-on named: Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook.

Step 1: download the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook
The first step is to download + installing the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook.
You can download the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook from the following link: Microsoft Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook
using the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook 01.jpg

The download page includes a Microsoft Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook for the 32 bit Microsoft Office version + 64 bit Microsoft Office version (most of the time, the Microsoft Office version is a 32-bit version).

using the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook 02.jpg

Note – we will not describe the installation process of the Microsoft Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook because the installation process is quite simple.

Step 2: using the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook.

Before we start with reviewing the steps of using the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook, I would like to display the Outlook Junk management option interface and emphasize the fact that before we have installed the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook the option of: “Report Junk option” doesn’t exist.
Reporting a specific mail item as a - SPAM mai by using outlook mail client 01.jpg

Using the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook.
In the following screenshot, we can use the Outlook interface after we have installed the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook. When we right click on a specific mail item and, choose the Junk menu, we can see a new menu that was added: Report Junk

Reporting a specific mail item as a - SPAM mai by using outlook mail client 02.jpg
After we choose the Report junk option, a message window appears and inform us that when we choose the report junk option, the result is that a copy of the mail message will be sent to Microsoft abuse team ( abuse@messaging.microsoft.com ) for analyses.

Reporting a specific mail item as a - SPAM mai by using outlook mail client 03.jpg

After we approve the report operation, two things will “happened”:

  • The mail will be moved to the Junk mail folder.
  • In the outbox folder, we can see the mail that is sent Outlook to the Microsoft abuse team.

Reporting a specific mail item as a - SPAM mai by using outlook mail client 04.jpg

When looking at the Sent Items folder, we can see the mail that sent to the Microsoft abuse team.

Reporting a specific mail item as a - SPAM mai by using outlook mail client 05.jpg

In the following section, we can see an example, in the report that sent to the Microsoft abuse team:

Received: from DB3PR05MB0668.eurprd05.prod.outlook.com (10.255.184.24) by DBXPR05MB0669.eurprd05.prod.outlook.com (10.255.179.21) with Microsoft SMTP Server (TLS) id 15.1.26.15 via Mailbox Transport; Wed, 3 Dec 2014 10:40:20

+0000

Received: from DB3PR05CA0042.eurprd05.prod.outlook.com (25.160.41.170) by DB3PR05MB0668.eurprd05.prod.outlook.com (10.255.184.24) with Microsoft SMTP Server (TLS) id 15.1.26.15; Wed, 3 Dec 2014 10:40:19 +0000

Received: from AM1FFO11FD011.protection.gbl (2a01:111:f400:7e00::114) by DB3PR05CA0042.outlook.office365.com (2a01:111:e400:9428::42) with Microsoft SMTP Server (TLS) id 15.1.31.17 via Frontend Transport; Wed, 3 Dec 2014

10:40:19 +0000

3. Reporting mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” manually

In some scenario, you can choose the option which I described as: “manually reporting mail items as a: spam\junk mail”. For example, in case that your Outlook client doesn’t include the Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook or in case that the OWA interface is Exchange 2007\2010 which doesn’t include the menu option of reporting mail as spam\junk mail.

The “manual” option implemented as follows:

Step 1 – create an “empty mail message”, the “destination recipient” email address will be the E-mail address of the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team. In case that we want to report about a mail item as a spam\junk mail we need to use the E-mail address: junk@office365.microsoft.com
In case that we want to report about a mail item as a non-spam\junk mail we need to use the E-mail address: not_junk@office365.microsoft.com

Note – there is no formal definition for the “subject” of the mail. When using OWA mail client to report. When using OWA menu option for report spam\junk mail” or non-spam\junk mail, I have noticed that the default subject is: “Outlook Web App junk mail report.“

Step 2 – attached the mail that you want to report to the “empty mail message.”
Step 3 – send the mail.

Reporting mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” manually | OWA mail Client

  • Create a new empty mail
  • Type the recipient E-mail address: junk@office365.microsoft.com + subject, such as: [Outlook Web App junk mail report]
  • Attach the spam\junk mail – to be able to attach the required mail (the mail that you want to report as spam\junk mail, “drag and drop” the spam\junk mail to the new empty mail.
    Attach spam - junk mail to mail message using OWA.jpg

Reporting mail item as a: “spam\junk mail” manually | OWA mail Client

Option 1

  • Create a new empty mail
  • Type the recipient E-mail address: junk@office365.microsoft.com + subject, such as: [Outlook Web App junk mail report]
  • Attach the spam\junk mail – to be able to attach the required mail (the mail that you want to report as spam\junk mail, “drag and drop” the spam\junk mail to the new empty mail.

Option 2

  • Create a new empty mail
  • Type the recipient E-mail address: junk@office365.microsoft.com + subject, such as: [Outlook Web App junk mail report] Attach spam - junk mail to mail message using OUTLOOK -001.jpg
  • Click on the Attach item icon and on the sub menu choose – Outlook item.
    Attach spam - junk mail to mail message using OUTLOOK -002.jpg
  • Choose the “spam\junk mail” that you want to attach, and click on the OK option.
    Attach spam - junk mail to mail message using OUTLOOK -003.jpg
  • In the following screenshot, we can see that the mail appears as an attachment.
    Attach spam - junk mail to mail message using OUTLOOK -004.jpg

4. Report mail item as: “non-spam\junk mail” by using an OWA 2013 mail client

Another interesting option that is available, when using OWA mail client is the option of: ”mark as not junk”.

This option, is useful for two major scenarios:

  1. False positive – a scenario in which a legitimate mail, is classified by mistake as a spam\junk mail.
  2. A scenario in which we report a specific mail as spam\junk mail and later we understand that we have to report the mail as a spam\junk mail by mistake.

Cancel the report of a specific mail item as a SPAM mail.jpg

In this scenario, we can go to the Junk mail folder, look for the particular mail, right click on the mail and chose the option of Mark as not Junk.

Cancel the report of a specific mail item as a - SPAM mail by using OWA mail client -01.jpg

A confirmation message appears, and if we approve the portion, the mail will be “relocated” back to the inbox folder and In addition, a report mail will be sent to the Microsoft abuse team abuse@messaging.microsoft.com
Cancel the report of a specific mail item as a - SPAM mail by using OWA mail client -02.jpg


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