Administrators, AADConnect and AdminSDHolder Issues (or why are some accounts having permission-issue)

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in AADConnect, AADSync, active directory, AdminSDHolder, dirsync, exchange, exchange online, hybrid, Office 365

[Scripts updated 5th October 2017 to support updates for Exchange Hybrid Writeback. If you ran earlier versions of these scripts you will need to run them again]

AdminSDHolder is something I come across a lot, but find a lot of admins are unaware of it. In brief it is any user that is a member of a protected group (i.e. Domain Admins) will find that their AD permission inheritance and access control lists on their AD object will be reset every hour. Michael B. Smith did a nice write-up on this subject here.

AdminSDHolder is an AD object that determines what the permissions for all protected group members need to be. Why this matters with AADConnect and your sync to Azure Active Directory (i.e. the directory used by Office 365) is that any object that the AADConnect service cannot read cannot be synced, and any object that the AADConnect service cannot write to can be targeted by writeback permissions. This blog post was last updated 18th June 2017 in advance of the release of AADConnect version 1.1.553.0.

For the read permissions this is less of an issue, as the default read permissions by every object is part of a standard Active Directory deployment and so you will find that AdminSDHolder contains this permission and therefore protected objects can be read by AADConnect. This happens in reality becase Authenticated Users have read permissions to lots of attributes on the AdminSDHolder object under the hidden System containing in the domain. Unless your AD permissions are very locked down or AdminSDHolder permissions have been changed to remove Authenticated Users you should have no issue in syncing admin accounts, who of course might have dependencies on mailboxes and SharePoint sites etc. and so need to be synced to the cloud.

Writeback though is a different ball game. Unless you have done AADConnect with Express settings you will find that protected accounts fail during the last stage of AADConnect sync process. You often see errors in the Export profile for your Active Directory that list your admin accounts. Ofter the easiest way to fix this is to enable the Inheritance permission check box on the user account and sync again. The changes are now successfully written but within the hour this inheritance checkbox will be removed and the default permissions as set on AdminSDHolder reapplied to these user accounts. Later changes that need written back from the cloud will result in a failure to writeback again, and again permission issues will be to blame.

To fix this we just need to ensure that the AdminSDHolder object has the correct permissions needed. This is nothing more than doing what the AADConnect Express wizard will do for you anyway, but if you don’t do the Express wizard I don’t think I have seen what you should do documented anywhere – so this is the first (maybe).

Often if you don’t run Express settings you are interested in the principal of least privilege and so the rest of this blog post will outline what you will see in your Active Directory and what to do to ensure protected accounts will always sync and writeback in the Azure Active Directory sync engine. I covered the permissions to enable various types of writeback permissions in a different blog post, but the scripts in this post never added the correct write permissions to AdminSDHolder, so this post will cover what to do for your protected accounts.

First, take a look at any protected account (i.e. one that is a member of Domain Admins):
image

You will see in the Advanced permissions dialog that their is an “Enable Inheritance” button (or a check box is unchecked in older versions of Active Directory. You will also notice that all the permissions under the “Inherited From” column read “None” – that is there are no permissions inherited. You will also see, as shown in the above dialog, that if Express settings have been run for your AADConnect sync service that a access control entry for the AADConnect service account will be listed – here this is MSOL_924f68d9ff1f (yours will be different if it exists) and has read/write for everything. This is not least privilege! If you have run the sync engine previously on different servers and later removed them (as the sync engine can only run on one server to one AAD tenant, excluding staging servers) then you might see more than one MSOL account. The description field of the account will show what server it was created on for your information.

If you compare your above admin account to a non-protected account you will see inheritance can be disabled and that the Inherited From column lists the source of the permission inheritance.

Compare the access control entries (ACE) to the list of ACE’s on the AdminSDHolder object. AdminSDHolder can be found at CN=AdminSDHolder,CN=System,DC=domain,DC=local. You should find that the protected accounts match those of the AdminSDHolder, or at least will within the hour as someone could have just changed something.

Add a permission ACE to AdminSDHolder and it will appear on each protected account within an hour, remove an ACE and it will go within the hour as well. So you could for example remove the MSOL_ account(s) from older ADSync deployments and tidy up your permissions as well.

This is what my Advanced permissions for AdminSDHolder looks like on my domain

image

If I add the relevant ACE’s here for the writeback permissions then within the hour, and then for syncs that happen after that time, the errors for writeback in the sync management console will go away. Note though that AdminSDHolder is per domain, so if you are syncing more than one domain you need to set these permissions on each domain.

To script these permissions, run the following in PowerShell to update AD permissions regarding to the different hybrid writebacks scenarios that you are interested in implementing.

Finding All Your AdminSDHolder Affected Users

The following PowerShell will let you know all the users in your domain who have an AdminCount set to 1 (>0 in reality), which means they are impacted by AdminSDHolder restrictions. The changes below directly on the AdminSDHolder will impact these users as their permissions will get updated to allow writeback from Azure AD.

get-aduser -Filter {admincount -gt 0} -Properties adminCount -ResultSetSize $null | FT DistinguishedName,Enabled,SamAccountName

SourceAnchor Writeback

This setting is needed for all installations since version 1.1.553.0.

$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is an account usually in the form of AAD_number or MSOL_number].
$AdminSDHolder = "CN=AdminSDHolder,CN=System,DC=contoso,DC=com"

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;ms-ds-consistencyGuid'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

Password Writeback

The following PowerShell will modify the permissions on the AdminSDHolder object so that protected accounts can have Self Service Password Reset (SSPR) function against the accounts. Note you need to change the DC values in the script for it to function against your domain(s).

Note that if you implement this, I recommend that you use version 1.1.553 or later, as that version restricts rogue Azure AD admins from resetting other Active Directory admins passwords and then taking ownership of the Active Directory account. Often Azure AD admins have admin rights in AD, and so this was always possible independent of AADConnect, but versions of AADConnect prior to 1.1.553 would allow an Azure AD admin to reset a restricted AD account that they did not own.

To determine the account name that permissions must be granted to, open the Synchronization Service Manager on the sync server, click Connectors and double click the connector to the domain you are updating. Under the Connect to Active Directory Forest item you will see the Forest Name and User Name. The User Name is the name of the account you need in the script. An example is shown below:

image

$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is an account usually in the form of AAD_number or MSOL_number].
$AdminSDHolder = "CN=AdminSDHolder,CN=System,DC=contoso,DC=com"

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":CA;`"Reset Password`"'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":CA;`"Change Password`"'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;lockoutTime'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;pwdLastSet'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

Note: Take care with this permission. Though Express Mode does this, there is a possible scenario where writeback of an AD admin password change could be misused. Versions of AADConnect released on 2018 specifically block this functionality where the user is changing a different admin user. These permissions allow the current user to make this change to their own account.

Exchange Hybrid Mode Writeback

The below script will set the permissions required for the service account that AADSync uses. Note that if Express mode has been used, then an account called MSOL_AD_Sync_RichCoexistence will exist that has these permissions rather than being assigned directly to the sync account. Therefore you could change the below permissions to utilise MSOL_AD_Sync_RichCoexistence rather than AAD_ or MSOL_ and achieve the same results, but knowing that future changes to the MSOL_ or AAD_ account will be saved as it was done via a group.

The final permission in the set is for msDS-ExternalDirectoryObjectID and this is part of the Exchange Server 2016 (and maybe Exchange Server 2013 later CU’s) schema updates. Newer documentation on AAD Connect synchronized attributes already has this attribute listed, for example in Azure AD Connect sync: Attributes synchronized to Azure Active Directory

$accountName = "domain\aad_account"
$AdminSDHolder = "CN=AdminSDHolder,CN=System,DC=contoso,DC=com"

$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;proxyAddresses'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchUCVoiceMailSettings'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchUserHoldPolicies'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchArchiveStatus'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchSafeSendersHash'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchBlockedSendersHash'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchSafeRecipientsHash'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msDS-ExternalDirectoryObjectID'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;publicDelegates'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$AdminSDHolder' /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchDelegateLinkList'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

Once these two scripts are run against AdminSDHolder object and you wait an hour, the permissions will be applied to your protected accounts, then within 30 minutes (based on the default sync time) any admin account that is failing to get cloud settings written back to Active Directory due to permission-issue errors will automatically get resolved.

Exchange Edge Server and Common Attachment Blocking In Exchange Online Protection

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, Edge, EOP, exchange, exchange online, Exchange Online Protection, FOPE, IAmMEC, Office 365

Both Exchange Server Edge role and Exchange Online Protection have an attachment filtering policy. The default in Edge Server is quite long, and the default in EOP is quite short. There is also a few values that are common to both.

So, how do you merge the lists so that your Edge Server attachment filtering policy is copied to Exchange Online in advance of changing your MX record to EOP?

You run

Set-MalwareFilterPolicy Default -FileTypes ade,adp,cpl,app,bas,asx,bat,chm,cmd,com,crt,csh,exe,fxp,hlp,hta,inf,ins,isp,js,jse,ksh,lnk,mda,mdb,mde,mdt,mdw,mdz,msc,msi,msp,mst,ops,pcd,pif,prf,prg,ps1,ps11,ps11xml,ps1xml,ps2,ps2xml,psc1,psc2,reg,scf,scr,sct,shb,shs,url,vb,vbe,vbs,wsc,wsf,wsh,xnk,ace,ani,docm,jar

This takes both the Edge Server default list and the EOP default list, minus the duplicate values and adds them to EOP. If you have a different custom list then use the following PowerShell to get your two lists and then use the above (with “Default” being the name of the policy) PowerShell to update the list in the cloud

Edge Server: Get-AttachmentFilterEntry

EOP: $variable = Get-MalwareFilterPolicy Default
$variable.FileTypes

Get-SpoofMailReport in EOP

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in EOP, exchange online, Exchange Online Protection, Office 365, spam, spoof

Using Office 365 or EOP to protect your email and worried about spoofed emails? Then try this cmdlet in Remote PowerShell for EOP:

PS C:\Users\brian.reid> Get-SpoofMailReport

Date                Event Type Direction Domain Action       Spoofed Sender              True Sender     Sender IP
—-                ———- ——— —— ——       ————–              ———–     ———
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     no-reply@domain.com         mandrillapp.com 198.2.186.0/24
18/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com          mimecast.com    1.130.217…
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com                          1.130.217…
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     no-reply@domain.com         someapp.com     198.2.179.0/24
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     paul@domain.com             mimecast.com    1.130.217…
13/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com                       1.130.217…
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com                       1.130.217…
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com                       1.130.217…
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com          mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com                          91.220.42.0/24
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
13/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    1.130.217…
18/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com                          1.130.217…
18/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com          mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     paul@domain.com             mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com          mimecast.com    1.130.217…
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     paul@domain.com                             1.130.217…
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    1.130.217…
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     paul@domain.com                             91.220.42.0/24
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     paul@domain.com             mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
10/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com                          1.130.217…
11/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com                          1.130.217…
11/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
13/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@domain.co.uk                      1.130.217…
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    1.130.217…
18/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    1.130.217…
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    1.130.217…
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     paul@domain.com                             91.220.42.0/24
07/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     no-reply@domain.com         mandrillapp.com 198.2.132.0/24
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     andrew@domain.com           mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com          mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com                          91.220.42.0/24
08/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.co.uk     mimecast.com    1.130.217…
10/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    1.130.217…
10/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@other.com                         1.130.217…
11/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          CaughtAsSpam wordpress@other.com         host-h.net      129.232.144…
11/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@domain.co.uk      mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
13/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@domain.co.uk      mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
13/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@other.com         host-h.net      197.189.237…
13/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
13/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@other.com                         91.220.42.0/24
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     no-reply@domain.com         mandrillapp.com 198.2.187.0/24
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.co.uk                     1.130.217…
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@other.com         host-h.net      197.189.237…
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@other.com                         91.220.42.0/24
14/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.co.uk     mimecast.com    1.130.217…
17/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@domain.co.uk      mimecast.com    1.130.217…
17/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com                          1.130.217…
17/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    1.130.217…
17/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     wordpress@domain.co.uk      mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
17/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24
18/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     support@domain.com                          91.220.42.0/24
18/04/2016 00:00:00 SpoofMail  Inbound          GoodMail     postmaster@domain.com       mimecast.com    91.220.42.0/24

Thats the output I get from running this on the afternoon of April 20th (UK style dates for the American readers of this blog)! Notice a few things (its been somewhat redacted to remove private into), but the spam filter provider in front of EOP in this tenant is seen as spoofing postmaster emails and there are some from mandrillapp.com in a similar vein. Both of these companies send email on our behalf, so I expect to see them here – so nothing to see here for these. How about the others? One is a hosting company, probably hosting WordPress instances and so these are probably alerts of some kind from a web hoster to us, so again I think for us nothing here.

What do you get – is it more interesting for you?

Then finally, how about getting the results in date order, as they are not by default: Get-SpoofMailReport | sort -Property Date

 

 

Renewing Apple APN for Office 365 Mobile Device Management

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in exchange online, iOS, iPad, iPhone, MDM, Mobile Device Management, mobile phones, Office 365

Office 365 MDM (Mobile Device Management) allows you to manage iOS based Apple devices. Once you have had Office 365 Mobile Device Management is use for a year, the Apple APN certificate that you would have created a year ago for this purpose will expire. If you did not add this renewal date to your calendar when you set up Office 365 MDM, or if you have taken over as administrator from someone else since then you had best check for your renewal dates, as Apple will email the address they have for the certificate at 30 days, 10 days and the day before it expires. Here is the day before it expires email warning – and I got this yesterday. So I had better renew the certificate now then. You of course will not leave it so late!

image

To check your renewal date, login as a Global Admin to the Office 365 Portal. On the old portal visit the Mobile Management tab on the left and the renewal date is shown on the right:

SNAGHTMLe083076

The above is for one of my clients, and the 30 day warning arrived for them today – so I will do them in a few days time.

If you are using the new Office 365 admin portal, then expand Resources > Mobile Management on the left navigation bar (note, at the time of writing, you cannot renew your APNs from the new portal and must use the old – the new portal redirects you back to your starting page all the time and does not start the correct wizard). This opens the same window as shown above. Later versions of the new portal might integrate the page with the portal, but that is not currently active (April 2016):

SNAGHTMLe0b34ae

To renew your certificate click the Manage settings link under the APNs Certificate for iOS devices message to the top right.

You will see the “Set up mobile device management” page:

image

Click Set up to the right of the “Configure an APNs Certificate for iOS devices”. This takes you to the “Install Apple Push Notification Certificate” page. On one of my tenants (possibly with the APNs expired already) clicking Set up took me back to the “Mobile Device Management for Office 365” and I could never get past it. That tenant needed a support call raised to fix.

On the “Install Apple Push Notification Certificate” page click “Download your CSR file” and save the file somewhere you can find shortly.

SNAGHTMLe183115

Click Next once file saved to disk.

SNAGHTMLe1a0325

On the second page of the wizard, click the “Apple APNS Portal” link. As this is a renewal, you need to login to the Apple Developer site with the same credentials used last time. If you have lost these and cannot reset them, then I suspect uploading a new certificate issued to a new ID will work, but I have not tested this.

SNAGHTMLe1cb6db

Once signed in click Renew. If changing issuer account and you have access to the old account, then click Revoke and login with the new account to https://identity.apple.com/pushcert to generate the new APNs certificate.

SNAGHTMLe1eb134

On the Renewal page, upload the saved CSR file from step 1 into the “Vendor-Signed Certificate Signing Request” and click Upload:

SNAGHTMLe1fdded

If you get a prompt about opening or saving a file called renew.json then cancel it and refresh the web browser page to continue the CSR file upload. The Apple web site often issues a JSON file as a download, but that should not happen and is not the file you need. Once the APNs is ready the browser will change back to the Apple Push Certificates Portal home page with a new certificate present (confirm this as the date will be a year from today). Click Download to get the APNs file.

SNAGHTMLe27d904

Upon clicking download you are offered to save a .pem file. This file will be called “MDM_ Microsoft Corporation_Certificate.pem”. If you are a Microsoft Partner and are doing this for multiple customers then rename it to suit the end client.

Close the Apple Push Certificates Portal page and in the previous tab you will find yourself back at step 2. Click Next.

SNAGHTMLe2a4532

In the file upload field, browse for MDM_ Microsoft Corporation_Certificate.pem (or whatever you renamed it to) and upload it to Office 365. The certificate is automatically uploaded. Click Finish and you are done.

Don’t forget to add a calendar appointment for this time next year just in case the reminders from Apple don’t reach you.

Exchange Online Archive–Counting Archives

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in archive, exchange, exchange online, Exchange Server, EXO, IAmMEC, Office 365

If you are using Exchange Online Archive and what to get a count of the number of users with an archive, or a list of the users with an archive, then the following PowerShell scripts will give you this info:

List all users with an Exchange Online Archive:

Get-MailUser -ResultSize Unlimited | where {$_.ArchiveName -ilike “In-Place Archive*”}

Count all users with an Exchange Online Archive:

(Get-MailUser -ResultSize Unlimited | where {$_.ArchiveName -ilike “In-Place Archive*”}).Count

Both of these PowerShell cmdlets need to be run in Exchange Online via Remote PowerShell.

Unable To Remove Office 365 Domain Error

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in dirsync, exchange online, hybrid, IAmMEC, MSOL, Office 365, powershell

If you need to remove a domain from Office 365 it needs to not be in use. This includes the services that use that domain, for example an Accepted Domain in Exchange Online. If though you have an expired, maybe test, Office 365 tenant and you want to remove a domain from it you may find unhelpful error messages. For example I have seen in the domain removal process in the portal a message saying “Please don’t close this page while we remove your domain” etc. It tries for several minutes as it predicts, but did not complete:

image

Upon failing to complete you get a further warning before it finally gives up and tells you that it cannot complete:

image

So the obvious next step (or obvious to me anyway) is to try the removal in remote PowerShell to Office 365. The cmdlet is Remove-MsolDomain -DomainName domain.com but this comes back with with messages that might be helpful, but after repeated running of the cmdlet and fixing the error still suggests the same fix.

image

The error reads: Remove-MsolDomain : Unable to remove this domain. Use Get-MsolUser -DomainName <domain name>  to retrieve a list  of objects that are blocking removal. The problem with this error is the list of objects here are only user accounts and not any of the other objects that could block a domain removal.

So sure, remove your unneeded users or change their UPN/email address to not include this domain that you want to remove, but also run Get-MsolContact and Get-MsolGroup and then remove or edit the contacts and the groups that use this domain.

So though the error says to fix the user objects that are blocking domain removal, you also need to fix or remove the groups and contacts as well.

Exchange Server and Missing Root Certificates

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in 2007, 2010, 2013, exchange, exchange online, Exchange Server, federation, Free/Busy

I came across an issue with a clients Exchange Server deployment today that is not well documented – or rather it is, but you need to know where to look. So I thought I would document the troubleshooting steps and the fix here.

We specifically came across this error when testing Free/Busy for an Office 365 migration, though it could happen for a variety of reasons. Free/Busy and other lookups in a cross-forest Exchange Server deployment require a working organization configuration and this was failing. Running Test-FederationTrust (a prerequisite of the organization relationship) in verbose mode (add -Verbose to the end) returned the following:

Unable to retrieve federation metadata from the security token
service. Reason: Microsoft.Exchange.Management.FederationProvisioning.FederationMetadataException: Unable to access the
Federation Metadata document from the federation partner. Detailed information: “The underlying connection was closed:
Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel.”.

The final result of the test will also show two errors for “Unable to retrieve federation metadata from the security token service.” and “Failed to request delegation token.”

The last part of the verbose error is the clue here. The server in question is unable to make an SSL/TLS connection to the endpoint that the federation trust needs to reach to get the federation trust metadata. That endpoint is listed right at the start of the Verbose output. It reads:

VERBOSE: [16:53:08.306 GMT] Test-FederationTrust : Requesting Federation Metadata from
https://nexus.microsoftonline-p.com/FederationMetadata/2006-12/FederationMetadata.xml.

Now that we have a URL and an error message, check that the URL is reachable from each of your Exchange Servers. At my client today we found one server could not successfully reach this endpoint without an SSL error turning up in the browser. The problem was that the certificate that the endpoint is secure with is issued by the Baltimore Cybertrust Root Certificate – one that Microsoft uses for lots of services, but the root certificate was not installed on that machine. Lots of root certs where missing from that machine as it had never had a root certificate update applied to it.

We installed the latest Root Certificate Update and then the federation trust worked and free/busy etc. (mail tips, cross-forest message tracking etc.) all worked fine.

Configuring Sync and Writeback Permissions in Active Directory for Azure Active Directory Sync

Posted on 47 CommentsPosted in 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, active directory, ADFS 3.0, Azure, Azure Active Directory, cloud, exchange, exchange online, groups, hybrid, IAmMEC, Office 365, WAP, Web Application Proxy, windows

[This blog post was last updated 5th October 2017 – added support to Exchange Hybrid for msExchDelegateLinkList attribute which was announced at Microsoft Ignite 2017 for the support of keeping auto-mapping working cross on-premises and the cloud]

[Updated 18th June 2017 in advance of the release of AADConnect version 1.1.553.0. This post contains updates to the below scripts to include the latest attributes synced back to on-premises including publicDelegates, which is used for supporting bi-directional sync for “Send on Behalf” of permissions in Exchange Online/Exchange Server hybrid writeback scenarios]

[Update March 2017 – added another blog post on using the below to fix permission-issue errors on admin and other protected accounts at http://c7solutions.com/2017/03/administrators-aadconnect-and-adminsdholder-issues]

Azure Active Directory has been long the read-only cousin of Active Directory for those Office 365 and Azure users who sync their directory from Active Directory to Azure Active Directory apart from eight attributes for Exchange Server hybrid mode. Not any more. Azure Active Directory writeback is now available. This enables objects to be mastered or changed in Azure Active Directory and written back to on-premises Active Directory.

This writeback includes:

  • Devices that can be enrolled with Office 365 MDM or Intune, which will allow login to AD FS controlled resources based on user and the device they are on
  • “Modern Groups” in Office 365 can be written back to on-premises Exchange Server 2013 CU8 or later hybrid mode and appear as mail enabled distribution lists on premises. Does not require AAD Premium licences
  • Users can change their passwords via the login page or user settings in Office 365 and have that password written back online.
  • Exchange Server hybrid writeback is the classic writeback from Azure AD and is the apart from Group Writeback is the only one of these writebacks that does not require Azure AD Premium licences.
  • User writeback from Azure AD (i.e. users made in Office 365 in the cloud for example) to on-premises Active Directory
  • Password Hash Sync (this is not really writeback, but its the only permission needed by default for forward sync, so added here)
  • Windows 10 devices for “Azure AD Domain Join” functionality

All of these features require AADConnect and not and of the earlier verions. You can add all these writeback functions from the AADConect setup wizard, and if you have used Custom mode, then you will need to implement the following permissions.

In all the below sections you need to grant permission to the connector account. You can find the connector account for your Active Directory forest from the Synchronization Service program > Connectors > double-click your domain > select Connect to Active Directory Forest. The account listed here is the connector account you need to grant permissions to.

SourceAnchor Writeback

For users with (typically) multi-forest deployments or plans or a forest migration, the objectGuid value in Active Directory, which is used as the source for the attribute that keys your on-premises object to your synced cloud object – in AAD sync parlance, this is known as the SourceAnchor. If you set up AADConnect version 1.1.553.0 or later you can opt to change from objectGuid to a new source anchor attribute known as ms-ds-consistencyGuid. To be able to use this new feature you need the ability for AADConnect connector account to be able to read ObjectGUID and then write it back to ms-ds-consistencyGuid. The read permissions are typically available to the connector account without doing anything special, and if AADConnect is installed in Express Mode it will get the write permissions it needs, but as with the rest of this blog, if you are not using Express Mode you need to grant the permissions manually and so write permissions are needed to the ms-ds-consistencyGuid attribute. This can be done with this script.


$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is often an account in the form of MSOL_number or AAD_number].
$ForestDN = "DC=contoso,DC=com"

$cmd = "dsacls '$ForestDN' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;ms-ds-consistencyGuid;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

Note that if you use ms-ds-consistencyGuid then there are changes required on your ADFS deployment as well. The Issuance Transform Rules for the Office 365 Relying Party Trust contains a rule that specifies the ImmutableID (aka AADConnect SourceAnchor) that the user will be identified as for login. By default this is set to ObjectGUID, and if you use AADConnect to set up ADFS for you then the application will update the rule. But if you set up ADFS yourself then you need to update the rule.

Issuance Transform Rules

When Office 365 is configured to federate a domain (use ADFS for authentication of that domain and not Azure AD) then the following are the claims rules that exist out of the box need to be adjusted. This is to support the use of ms-ds-consistencyguid as the immutable ID.

ADFS Management UI > Trust Relationships > Relying Party Trusts

Select Microsoft Office 365 Identity Platform > click Edit Claim Rules

You get two or three rules listed here. You get three rules if you use -SupportMultipleDomain switch in Convert-MSOLDomainToFederated.
Rule 1:
Change objectGUID to ms-DS-ConsistencyGUID
Rule Was:
c:[Type == “http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2008/06/identity/claims/windowsaccountname”]
=> issue(store = “Active Directory”, types = (“http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/claims/UPN”, “http://schemas.microsoft.com/LiveID/Federation/2008/05/ImmutableID”), query = “samAccountName={0};userPrincipalName,objectGUID;{1}”, param = regexreplace(c.Value, “(?<domain>[^\\]+)\\(?<user>.+)”, “${user}”), param = c.Value);
New Value:
c:[Type == “http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2008/06/identity/claims/windowsaccountname”]
=> issue(store = “Active Directory”, types = (“http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/claims/UPN”, “http://schemas.microsoft.com/LiveID/Federation/2008/05/ImmutableID”), query = “samAccountName={0};userPrincipalName,ms-DS-ConsistencyGUID;{1}”, param = regexreplace(c.Value, “(?<domain>[^\\]+)\\(?<user>.+)”, “${user}”), param = c.Value);

Preparing for Device Writeback

If you do not have a 2012 R2 or later domain controller then you need to update the schema of your forest. Do this by getting a Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO image and mounting it as a drive. Copy the support/adprep folder from this image or DVD to a 64 bit domain member in the same site as the Schema Master. Then run adprep /forestprep from an admin cmd prompt when logged in as a Schema Admin. The domain member needs to be a 64 bit domain joined machine for adprep.exe to run.

Wait for the schema changes to replicate around the network.

Import the cmdlets needed to configure your Active Directory for writeback by running Import-Module ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect\AdPrep\AdSyncPrep.psm1’ from an administrative PowerShell session. You need Azure AD Global Admin and Enterprise Admin permissions for Azure and local AD forest respectively. The cmdlets for this are obtained by running the Azure AD Connect tool.


$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is often an account in the form of MSOL_number or AAD_number].
Initialize-ADSyncDeviceWriteBack -AdConnectorAccount $accountName -DomainName contoso.com #[domain where devices will be created].

This will create the “Device Registration Services” node in the Configuration partition of your forest as shown:

image

To see this, open Active Directory Sites and Services and from the View menu select Show Services Node. Also in the domain partition you should now see an OU called RegisteredDevices. The AADSync account now has permissions to write objects to this container as well.

In Azure AD Connect, if you get the error “This feature is disabled because there is no eligible forest with appropriate permissions for device writeback” then you need to complete the steps in this section and click Previous in the AADConnect wizard to go back to the “Connect your directories” page and then you can click Next to return to the “Optional features” page. This time the Device Writeback option will not be greyed out.

Device Writeback needs a 2012 R2 or later AD FS server and WAP to make use of the device info in the Active Directory (for example, conditional access to resources based on the user and the device they are using). Once Device Writeback is prepared for with these cmdlets and the AADConnect Synchronization Options page is enabled for Device Writeback then the following will appear in Active Directory:

image

Not shown in the above, but adding the Display Name column in Active Directory Users and Computers tells you the device name. The registered owner and registered users of the device are available to view, but as they are SID values, they are not really readable.

If you have multiple forests, then you need add the SCP record for the tenant name in each separate forest. The above will do it for the forest AADConnect is installed in and the below script can be used to add the SCP to other forests:

$verifiedDomain = "contoso.com"  # Replace this with any of your verified domain names in Azure AD
$tenantID = "27f998bf-86f2-41bf-91ab-2d7ab011df35"  # Replace this with you tenant ID
$configNC = "CN=Configuration,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com"  # Replace this with your AD configuration naming context
$de = New-Object System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry
$de.Path = "LDAP://CN=Services," + $configNC
$deDRC = $de.Children.Add("CN=Device Registration Configuration", "container")
$deDRC.CommitChanges()
$deSCP = $deDRC.Children.Add("CN=62a0ff2e-97b9-4513-943f-0d221bd30080", "serviceConnectionPoint")
$deSCP.Properties["keywords"].Add("azureADName:" + $verifiedDomain)
$deSCP.Properties["keywords"].Add("azureADId:" + $tenantID)
$deSCP.CommitChanges()

Preparing for Group Writeback

Writing Office 365 “Modern Groups” back to Active Directory on-premises requires Exchange Server 2013 CU8 or later schema updates and servers installed. To create the OU and permissions required for Group Writeback you need to do the following.

Import the cmdlets needed to configure your Active Directory for writeback by running Import-Module ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect\AdPrep\AdSyncPrep.psm1’ from an administrative PowerShell session. You need Domain Admin permissions for the domain in the local AD forest that you will write back groups to. The cmdlets for this are obtained by running the Azure AD Connect tool.

$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is often an account in the form of MSOL_number or AAD_number].
$cloudGroupOU = "OU=CloudGroups,DC=contoso,DC=com"
Initialize-ADSyncGroupWriteBack -AdConnectorAccount $accountName -GroupWriteBackContainerDN $cloudGroupOU

Once these cmdlets are run the AADSync account will have permissions to write objects to this OU. You can view the permissions in Active Directory Users and Computers for this OU if you enable Advanced mode in that program. There should be a permission entry for this account that is not inherited from the parent OU’s.

At the time of writing, the distribution list that is created on writeback from Azure AD will not appear in the Global Address List in Outlook etc. or allow on-premises mailboxes to send to these internal only cloud based groups. To add it to the address book you need to create a new subdomain, update public DNS and add send connectors to hybrid Exchange Server. This is all outlined in https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt668829(v=exchg.150).aspx. This ensure’s that on-premises mailboxes can deliver to groups as internal senders and not require external senders enabled on the group. To add the group to the Global Address List you need to run Update-AddressList in Exchange Server. Once group writeback is prepared for using these cmdlets here and AADConnect has had it enabled during the Synchronization Options page, you should see the groups appearing in the selected OU as shown:

image

And you should find that on-premises users can send email to these groups as well.

Preparing for Password Writeback

The option for users to change their passwords in the cloud and have then written back to on-premises (with multifactor authentication and proof of right to change the password) is also available in Office 365 / Azure AD with the Premium Azure Active Directory or Enterprise Mobility Pack licence.

To enable password writeback for AADConnect you need to enable the Password Writeback option in AADConnect synchronization settings and then run the following three PowerShell cmdlets on the AADSync server:


Get-ADSyncConnector | fl name,AADPasswordResetConfiguration
Get-ADSyncAADPasswordResetConfiguration -Connector "contoso.onmicrosoft.com - AAD"
Set-ADSyncAADPasswordResetConfiguration -Connector "contoso.onmicrosoft.com - AAD" -Enable $true

The first of these cmdlets lists the ADSync connectors and the name and password reset state of the connector. You need the name of the AAD connector. The middle cmdlet tells you the state of password writeback on that connector and the last cmdlet enables it if needed. The name of the connector is required in these last two cmdlets.

To set the permissions on-premises for the passwords to be written back the following script is needed:

$passwordOU = "DC=contoso,DC=com" #[you can scope this down to a specific OU]
$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is often an account in the form of MSOL_number or AAD_number].

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$passwordOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":CA;`"Reset Password`";user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$passwordOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":CA;`"Change Password`";user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$passwordOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;lockoutTime;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$passwordOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;pwdLastSet;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

Finally you need to run the above once per domain.

Preparing for Exchange Server Hybrid Writeback

Hybrid mode in Exchange Server requires the writing back on eight attributes from Azure AD to Active Directory. The list of attributes written back is found here. The following script will set these permissions for you in the OU you select (or as shown at the root of the domain). The DirSync tool used to do all this permissioning for you, but the AADSync tool does not. Therefore scripts such as this are required. This script sets lots of permissions on these eight attributes, but for clarify on running the script the output of the script is sent to Null. Remove the “| Out-Null” from the script to see the changes as they occur (the script also takes a lot longer to run).

$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is often an account in the form of MSOL_number or AAD_number].
$HybridOU = "DC=contoso,DC=com"

#Object type: user
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;proxyAddresses;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchUCVoiceMailSettings;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchUserHoldPolicies;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchArchiveStatus;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchSafeSendersHash;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchBlockedSendersHash;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchSafeRecipientsHash;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msDS-ExternalDirectoryObjectID;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;publicDelegates;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchDelegateLinkList;user'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

#Object type: iNetOrgPerson
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;proxyAddresses;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchUCVoiceMailSettings;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchUserHoldPolicies;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchArchiveStatus;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchSafeSendersHash;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchBlockedSendersHash;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchSafeRecipientsHash;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msDS-ExternalDirectoryObjectID;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;publicDelegates;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;msExchDelegateLinkList;iNetOrgPerson'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

#Object type: group
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;proxyAddresses;group'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

#Object type: contact
$cmd = "dsacls '$HybridOU' /I:S /G '`"$accountName`":WP;proxyAddresses;contact'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

Finally you need to run the above once per domain.

Preparing for User Writeback

[This functionality is not in the current builds of AADConnect]

Currently in preview at the time of writing, you are able to make users in Azure Active Directory (cloud users as Office 365 would call them) and write them back to on-premises Active Directory. The users password is not written back and so needs changing before the user can login on-premises.

To prepare the on-premises Active Directory to writeback user objects you need to run this script. This is contained in AdSyncPrep.psm1 and that is installed as part of Azure AD Connect. Azure AD Connect will install Azure AD Sync, which is needed to do the writeback. To load the AdSyncPrep.psm1 module into PowerShell run Import-Module ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect\AdPrep\AdSyncPrep.psm1’ from an administrative PowerShell session.

$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is an account usually in the form of AAD_number].
$cloudUserOU = "OU=CloudUsers,DC=contoso,DC=com"
Initialize-ADSyncUserWriteBack -AdConnectorAccount $accountName -UserWriteBackContainerDN $cloudUserOU

Once the next AADSync occurs you should see users in the OU used above that match the cloud users in Office 365 as shown:

image

Prepare for Password Hash Sync

This set of PowerShell ensures that the AADConnect account has the correct permissions to read password hashes from the Active Directory when they are changed, so that the service can sync them to the cloud. You need this permission whenever you enable Password Hash Sync (which could be in conjunction with another authentication method as well)

$DomainDN = "DC=contoso,DC=com" 
$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is often an account in the form of MSOL_number or AAD_number].

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$DomainDN' /G '`"$accountName`":CA;`"Replicating Directory Changes`";'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

$cmd = "dsacls.exe '$DomainDN' /G '`"$accountName`":CA;`"Replicating Directory Changes All`";'"
Invoke-Expression $cmd | Out-Null

Prepare for Windows 10 Registered Device Writeback Sync

Windows 10 devices that are joined to your domain can be written to Azure Active Directory as a registered device, and so conditional access rules on device ownership can be enforced. To do this you need to import the AdSyncPrep.psm1 module. This module supports the following two additional cmdlets to prepare your Active Directory for Windows 10 device sync:

CD "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect\AdPrep"
Import-Module .\AdSyncPrep.psm1
Initialize-ADSyncDomainJoinedComputerSync
Initialize-ADSyncNGCKeysWriteBack

These cmdlets are run as follows:

$accountName = "domain\aad_account" #[this is the account that will be used by Azure AD Connect Sync to manage objects in the directory, this is often an account in the form of MSOL_number or AAD_number].
$azureAdCreds = Get-Credential #[Azure Active Directory administrator account]

CD "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect\AdPrep"
Import-Module .\AdSyncPrep.psm1
Initialize-ADSyncDomainJoinedComputerSync -AdConnectorAccount $accountName -AzureADCredentials $azureAdCreds 
Initialize-ADSyncNGCKeysWriteBack -AdConnectorAccount $accountName 

To successfully run these cmdlets you need to have the latest version of the Microsoft Online PowerShell modules installed (the V1.1 versions, not the V2.0 preview). You can get these from https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/MSOnline (which in turn needs MSOL Signin Assistant from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41950 and the Windows Management Framework v5 from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50395). If you get errors in the above, make sure you have the correct version, download from above and try the scripts again.

Once complete, open Active Directory Sites and Services and from the View menu Show Services Node. Then you should see the GUID of your domain under the Device Registration Configuration container.

image

Advanced Threat Protection via PowerShell

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Advanced Threat Protection, ATP, EOP, exchange online, Exchange Online Protection, IAmMEC, Office 365, Safe Attachments, Safe Links

I discussed the newly released Advanced Threat Protection product in Office 365 on my blog, and in this article I want to outline the cmdlets that can be used to set this product up from Remote PowerShell to Office 365.

To connect to Office 365 via PowerShell take a search on your favourite search engine – there are lots and lots of articles on doing this. Once you have a connection to Exchange Online and you have purchased the Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection product, you can use PowerShell to do your administration and report gathering.

The cmdlets you can use are for Safe Links are:

Disable-SafeLinksRule
Enable-SafeLinksRule
Get-SafeLinksPolicy
Get-SafeLinksRule
New-SafeLinksPolicy
New-SafeLinksRule
Remove-SafeLinksPolicy
Remove-SafeLinksRule
Set-SafeLinksPolicy
Set-SafeLinksRule

And the cmdlets you can use for Safe Attachments are:

Disable-SafeAttachmentRule
Enable-SafeAttachmentRule
Get-SafeAttachmentPolicy
Get-SafeAttachmentRule
New-SafeAttachmentPolicy
New-SafeAttachmentRule
Remove-SafeAttachmentPolicy
Remove-SafeAttachmentRule
Set-SafeAttachmentPolicy
Set-SafeAttachmentRule

And for reporting, you can run Get-AdvancedThreatProtectionTrafficReport to report on the number of attachments blocked and the type of notification sent when looking at Safe Attachments. Get-UrlTrace does the same report for Safe Links.

The cmdlet *-SafeLinksPolicy and *-SafeAttachmentPolicy controls the policy. Every rule needs to be associated with a policy and so a policy needs creating first:

New-SafeLinksPolicy “Protect C7 Solutions Users”

Will create a Safe Link policy with the default settings. This includes no URL tracking, no click through and is not enabled. A better start might be

New-SafeLinksPolicy “Protect C7 Solutions Users” -TrackClicks $true -IsEnabled $true -AllowClickThrough $false

Once a policy is created, a rule can be added to that policy. The *-SafeLinksRule and *-SafeAttachmentRule cmdlets control this in the shell. You can only have one rule per policy. An example cmdlet to create a rule would be:

New-SafeLinksRule “Protect C7 Solutions Users” -SafeLinksPolicy “Protect C7 Solutions Users” -RecipientDomainIs “c7solutions.com” -Enabled $true

Note that the –SafeLinksPolicy value matches that of the name of the previously created policy when making the rule.

To create a Safe Attachment policy and rule that protect all users by blocking malicious attachments and sending a report to an external mailbox you could use:

New-SafeAttachmentPolicy “Protect C7 Solutions Users” -Enable $true -Redirect $true -RedirectAddress brian@contoso.com –Action Block

New-SafeAttachmentRule “Protect C7 Solutions Users” -RecipientDomainIs “c7solutions.com” -SafeAttachmentPolicy “Protect C7 Solutions Users” -Enabled $true

The other cmdlets are self explanatory with regard to Enable- and Disable- and Set- and Remove-. The advantage of using PowerShell to administer Safe Links and Safe Attachments is you can set up a policy in a lab and then copy it to a production environment or enable the same policy on many different tenants if you are a Microsoft Partner with customers interested in this advanced protection of their mailbox.

Getting Started with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in Advanced Threat Protection, ATP, EOP, exchange online, Exchange Online Protection, IAmMEC, malware, Office 365, proxy, Safe Attachments, Safe Links

Announced a few months ago, Advanced Threat Protection became generally available on 1st June. I have been involved with trialling this product during the beta and so I thought I would note down a few thoughts on setting this up and what to expect now that it is publicly available.

Advanced Threat Protection is an add-on product to Exchange Online/Exchange Online Protection with its own subscription, so you will not see these features and products unless you have subscribed. Once you have subscribed you will get two new features in the Exchange Control Panel for Office 365. These are the ability to find malware containing attachments before a detection signature for that malware exists (zero-day malware attacks) and the ability to filter all hyperlinks in email via a known malicious links service (filtering against spear-phishing attacks). The feature to detect zero-day malware is called Safe Attachments and the feature to protect against spear-phishing is known as Safe Links.

Subscribing to Advanced Threat Protection

After signing into the Office 365 administration portal click Purchase Services on the left hand menu and locate your current Office 365 subscription that contains Exchange Online or Exchange Online Protection (Office 365 Enterprise E3 contains EOP, so you would look for your suite purchase if you did not have a standalone purchase of EOP). Your current subscriptions will contain the words Already Purchased underneath the item as shown:

image or image

In the two screenshots above you can see that you have no Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection licences purchased. To add Advanced Threat Protection licences click the Add more link and enter the number of licences you want to purchase. You do not need to purchases the same number of licences as EOP or Exchange Online mailbox licences as you use the policy below to control who Advanced Threat Protection is available for. Advanced Threat Protection for volume licence customers is available from August 2015 and for non-profit/educational licences from later in the year. Once the purchase is confirmed the Advanced Threat’s menu entry appears in the Exchange Administration Console. Also don’t forget to assign a licence to the appropriate users in the Office 365 portal.

Safe Attachments

Safe Attachments in Advanced Threat Protection takes any email that meets the conditions of any one of the Safe Attachment policies that you create that also contains an attachment and checks this email for for malicious behaviour as it passes through Exchange Online Protection (EOP). Before an email is checked by Safe Attachments the attachment has already been scanned for known malware and viruses. So if the attachment contains malware that was not detected by an existing AV signature or if it is a safe attachment (no malware) then the email is routed to the Safe Attachments component in EOP. If the email does not contain any attachments it is routed to the users mailbox by way of the other EOP spam filtering features.

Once an email is considered to have cause to be checked by the Safe Attachments component of ATP the individual attachments in the message are placed inside a newly created Windows virtual machine that is spun up in ATP for the purposes of this service. The attachment is then executed or otherwise run (for example if it is a Word doc, it is opened in Word in the new VM that was created for it). The VM is then watched for behaviour that is considered to be unsafe. Examples of unsafe behaviour include setting certain known registry key locations (such as the RunOnce group of keys in Windows) or downloading malicious content from the internet. If the attachment does not exhibit that behaviour then the email is released and sent on to the user. If the email does exhibit these actions the email is not sent onward, and optionally a copy of the email in a form of a report is forwarded to an administrators mailbox (where care should be taken on opening the attachment).

The time it takes to spin up a new VM and execute the attachment is in the region of 7 to 10 minutes. Therefore anyone subject to a Safe Attachments policy will have emails that contain attachments delayed by at least this amount of time. Of course this delay is necessary to ensure that the recipient is not being sent malware that is currently not detected (zero-day attacks) and the impact of this delay needs to be considered against the benefit of the additional filtering that happens and the impact of that user executing the malware themselves on their own machine.

To protect a user with Safe Attachments you need to create a policy. This is done in the Exchange Admin Centre in Office 365 and the “advanced threats” area as shown:

SNAGHTML43a8f613

In the above screenshot I have a single policy created called “Protect Brian Only”. This would be an example where I wanted to protect those users whom I though where more likely to be subject to zero-day malware attacks – good examples would be highly targets accounts (CEO etc.), IT administrator/help desk accounts and of course the accounts of users who will click anything and so you are often cleaning up their PC! There is no default policy, so unless a user is protected by a policy that you the administrator create, they are not subject to the Safe Attachments feature.

As Advanced Threat Protection is an additional licence, only those users who are licenced should be included in any policy.

Opening the “Protect Brian Only” example policy above shows me three sets of options. These are:

SNAGHTML43aa903b SNAGHTML43b22229 SNAGHTML43aad2b3

The first page allows me to edit the name and description. The second page sets the policy (more on this below) and the final page sets who the policy applies to. In this example it applies to a single recipient who was selected from the list of users in Office 365, though it could be a list of more than one user or anyone with a given email domain or anyone in an already created group.

The policy setting allows me to do the following:

  • Scan attachment containing emails (with options to not do this scanning, scan and send onward to the user regardless of the result, block the emails containing bad attachments or replace the attachments with a notification but allow the contents of the email to go on through).
  • Redirect the attachment containing emails to an alternative email address and what address to use. This is great for seeing what is blocked and acting as a sort of reporting service. Warning – this email address will get malicious emails sent to it, handle with extreme care.
  • Finally, in the event of a timeout at EOP/ATP where the attachment cannot be scanned in 30 minutes, check this box to treat the attachment in the same way as malicious emails are treated. This is the default action.

In the mailbox of the intended recipient, if block or replace is selected in the policy then the user will not see the malicious attachment and therefore cannot accidently execute its contents.

In the mailbox of the email address used for the redirection, you will see messages such as follows:

image

Here you see a report email that contains the email that was detected as malicious. You can see the To: address (redacted in the graphic above) and that it was not sent to the intended recipient and that it should not be opened.

All in all, its a very simple and inexpensive way to protect the mailboxes of either all staff or those you consider subject to targeted malware such as CEO type staff and the IT department. Even if you do not redirect emails containing malicious attachments, you can report on the number and type of attachments that are blocked from the reporting console available from the image icon on the ATP toolbar. The following shows a 30 day report for my tenant (which has only a few live mailboxes protected). For data-points beyond 7 days old it will take a short while for the information on the report to be returned to you and you need to request that report from the provided link. For data-points under 7 days you can see the information in real-time. The grey background to report shows where the 7 day period is located. In the below screenshot the above malware can be see in the report as the single instance of an email that passed AV scanning successfully but was in fact a zero-day attack. The second screenshot below shows the type of malware attachments that ATP is blocking. From this we can see that the risk lies in maliciously crafted Excel and Word attachments.

SNAGHTML43c1954c SNAGHTML43ce425b

Safe Links

When an email is delivered to the end recipient, any technology that checks the target of any link in the email is prone to one large issue – the web page or attachment on the other side of the hyperlink in the email may be safe and okay to view at the time of delivery, but might not be at the time the user comes to open the email and then click the link. Being aware of users working, or at least email reading hours, and delivering emails outside this timeframe with links to websites that are okay at the time of delivery means the email passes any web site or download checks done by the email server.

Advanced Threat Protection’s Safe Links feature protects the user by rewriting the hyperlink in the email body so that the link is checked at the point of click and not the point of delivery. To do this the hyperlink is changed from the target to the Safe Links portal. Then when the user clicks the link, they are taken to the Safe Links portal and if the site is now on a block list, the user is blocked, but if the target of the link is fine they are sent a browser redirect to the original target. Note that this is not a proxy server – you do not connect to the target URL through the Safe Links portal, you just visit the Safe Links portal when you click the link and if the target is safe at point of click you are directed via your browser to the target (a client side redirect). If the target is not safe at point of click then an error page is displayed.

In the following screenshot is an email with a hyperlink in it. This link was received by me to my Safe Links protected account and it looks link it might be an attempt to download malware to my computer, but I am going to click the link anyway (in second screenshot I am hovering over the hyperlink):

image image

You can see from the above screenshot that the hyperlink takes the user first to https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=targetURL&data=value&sData=otherValue. The na01 part of the URL will be regionally specific and so might read emea01 or apac01 etc. When the user clicks the link they go to region.safelinks.protection.outlook.com. In my case I see the following webpage:

image

Here I am told the page has been classified as malicious. I also have an option to continue anyway (and I can control if this setting appears for users or not) and an option to close the browser window.

If the hyperlink is not malicious at the point of click then I still go to the Safe Links portal (as it is the portal that checks the link at point of click), but then get redirected to the target URL. This can be seen in the following screenshot which shows the F12 developer tools enabled in the browser and the network trace screen shown at the bottom of the window:

image

You will see that the first line is the Safe Links portal and this take 0.75 second before being redirected with a HTTP 302 client side redirect to the target URL and then the rest of the objects on the target page (until I paused the trace).

So how do I set this all up? It is very similar to the Safe Attachments above in that we create a policy, and then any email that contains hyperlinks that is delivered to the end user after that users is added to a policy get rewritten.

First we go to the Advanced Threats area of the Exchange Administration Console:

SNAGHTMLeafbb84

Here you can see an existing policy. There are no policies by default. If I create a new policy I need to provide the following:

SNAGHTMLeb3664c

You can see from the screenshot that you need a name for the policy and whether or not a link is rewritten (policies with greater priority take precedence, so if a user is subject to two or more polices then only the higher priority policy takes effect, therefore you can use a policy to turn off link rewriting for a subset of users covered under a lower policy that enabled it for more users). Also you can disable link tracking and not to allow users to have the option to click through to the target URL. Link tracking allows you to report who clicked what link and not allowing users to click through disables the “Continue to this website (not recommended)” link on the Safe Links warning page.

You also have the ability to control URL’s that you do not want to rewrite, and rewriting will only happen for FQDN URL’s (that is those with dots in them) and not single name URL’s such as http://intranet.  This allows you to bypass redirection for sites you know are safe or are FQDN’s but are internal.

Finally you get to set who the policy applies to. You do not need to apply the policy to all users if you have not licenced all users, but you can set policy based on who the recipient is, what domain the recipient is in (all users in that domain) or a group (some users).

On the Mail Flow menu in Exchange Control Panel you can view a URL Trace of the links that users have clicked in the past 7 days. The report shows you the link clicked and if it was blocked or not. If the click through option is enabled, it will show if that was done as well. Only users in policies that track clicks will be reported. As report looks like the following:

SNAGHTMLfdf4592

Further Administration

To administer your Safe Links and Safe Attachments policy and rules via Remote PowerShell see http://c7solutions.com/2015/06/advanced-threat-protection-via-powershell

Using Office 365 PST Ingestion Service

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in exchange, exchange online, Office 365, pst, sharepoint

[Updated 10th Nov 2015 with tips on managing bad items in PST files]
Its been in private preview for a while, and recently entered a free preview for any Office 365 subscriber to try. So I gave it a go and have the following tips and guidance.

Preparing to upload PST files

You can upload PST files in situ from their current location on the network. There is no requirement to first copy them to a new folder for uploading. To do this requires a few things to consider, not just including running the AzCopy process with an account that can access all the content.

AzCopy is the command line tool used to copy your PST files to Azure in advance of importing them into Office 365 mailboxes. You do not need an Azure subscription to do this, and until September 2015 this is a free service. To do this in-situ upload of PST files without first copying them to a local network staging location you should include the /Pattern: property in AzCopy. This is documented in the AzCopy help but not currently in the PST Ingestion help on TechNet (https://technet.microsoft.com/library/ms.o365.cc.IngestionHelp.aspx?v=15.1.166.0&l=1). Using AzCopy without /Pattern will upload everything in the source path. As this is a PST ingestion process, you only want *.pst as the /Pattern. When this ingestion process starts to include uploads for SharePoint, then /Pattern will of course not be as useful a value to include.

In the following example, AzCopy is reading from a folder called “C:\Shares\Users” (/source:) and looking in all subdirectories (/S) and only uploading *.pst files (/Pattern:”*.pst”).


<span style="font-size: medium;">azcopy /source:"C:\Shares\Users" /Dest:https://uniqueurl.blob.core.windows.net/ingestiondata/20150101 /DestKey:uniquekey /Pattern:"*.pst" /S /V:"c:\temp\pstIngestion20150101.log"</span>

The data is uploaded to a folder called ingestiondata/20150101 in your Azure storage blog for the PST Ingestion process (notice no space after the URL and before ingestiondata as shown in TechNet). Each file is uploaded to a subfolder of this folder that matches the folder it is located on in the source. For example, if the following folder structure existed:

image

Then in Azure storage the structure would be like the following:

ingestiondata/20150101/Jenny/Outlook Files/2009/jenny2009.pst

ingestiondata/20150101/Paul/archive.pst

ingestiondata/20150101/Simon/PST Files/2009/SimonArchive.pst

ingestiondata/20150101/Simon/Archive2011.pst

Notice that the folder structure underneath the /Source: path is duplicated to Azure, and for a real world scenario, notice that Simon has two PST files in different folders. The /Pattern property of AzCopy will find both even though they may not be where you expect them to be. The 20150101 value is just a unique value that I have used (its a date) that I would change for different uploads, meaning that different uploads would never clash with an existing upload. In TechNet it suggests a name that represents the file share that you set as the source value, so that two uploads from two sources cannot over write each other. So in my example I might do an upload on a different day, and so use a different data value or I could use CUserShares as a way to represent the local upload and FileServerHome to represent \\fileserver\home. If I used FileServer/Home (changing \ for /) then I am creating additional subdirectories in Azure storage and this needs to be taken into account.

Preparing the PST Mapping File

Once the upload is complete, and note that this is best done overnight as it maximises bandwidth use, you have 30 days to import the files from Azure into your mailboxes. To do this you need to create a CSV file like the following:

Workload,FilePath,Name,Mailbox,IsArchive,TargetRootFolder,SPFileContainer,SPManifestContainer,SPSiteUrl
Exchange,20150101/Jenny/Outlook Files/2009,jenny2009.pst,jenny@contoso.com,FALSE,Archive_jenny2009,,,
Exchange,20150101/Paul,archive.pst,paul@contoso.com,FALSE,Archive_Archive,,,
Exchange,20150101/Simon/PST Files/2009,SimonArchive.pst,simon@contoso.com,FALSE,Archive_SimonArchive,,,
Exchange,20150101/Simon,Archive2011.pst,simon@contoso.com,FALSE,Archive_Archive2011,,,

In Excel, it would look as follows:

image

This has a few important elements in it. Mainly the Name value (for the PST filename) is case sensitive which is not documented in TechNet at this time. I guess the FilePath is as well, but I did not come across that issue as I set all the case to the same as the source. The name matches the PST filename, and the FilePath matches the value after “ingestiondata” in the URL including the path the file was uploaded from. Therefore in my example for Jenny above, where the PST file was called “jenny2009.pst” and the path on the local file server was “C:\Shares\Users\Jenny\Outlook Files\2009\” and the /Source: was “C:\Shares\Users” and 20150101 was used as the value in the /Dest: following the URL, the result of the FilePath in the CSV becomes “20150101/Jenny/Outlook Files/2009”. That is, the CSV needs to have a FilePath that includes Dest (after ingestiondata) and the local source with \ changed to / and not including the /Source: value.

A second example, if I used the following AzCopy cmdline:


<span style="font-size: medium;">azcopy /source:"\\fileserver\home" /Dest:https://uniqueurl.blob.core.windows.net/ingestiondata/FileServer/home /DestKey:uniquekey /Pattern:"*.pst" /S /V:"c:\temp\pstIngestionFileServerHome.log"</span>

Then I would have FilePath values in the CSV that looked like “FileServer/home/Jenny/Outlook Files/2009” (case sensitive).

Once you upload the mapping file the PST import from Azure to the Exchange mailbox (or Archive) starts. If the PST file cannot be found then you get an error in the management console at quite shortly after starting. The error reads as follows:

Could not find source file {0}. Please correct the FilePath column in the mapping file and create a new job with the updated mapping file

Full file path

fileserver/home/Jenny/outlook files/2009/Jenny2009.pst

In the above error I have purposely set the FilePath and PST file to the wrong case as that is the cause of this error (unless you did not upload the PST or the path is completely wrong). The best source of the FilePath name comes from the AzCopy log file (set in the /V switch for AzCopy). This will show the path (not including the string value used after “ingestiondata” in the Dest switch that you need to add), but will show the full path the file was uploaded to and the correct case for this path and file.

All the best with removing PST’s from the network! Of course there is more to do that just mentioned here – you need to find them, work out who the PST’s belong to and create this mapping file accurately. There are a number of PST ingestion software companies who will do this for you. You also need to ensure that the PST’s do not contain bad items and to control the import settings for the PST import process.

To ensure there are no bad items in the PST files (or try to at least) it is recommended that you scan the PST files with SCANPST.EXE (http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/272227). This tool needs to be run on all PST files that you have located before you upload them, or if bandwidth is not an issue, to upload them, import them and then process only those that fail.

Once SCANPST.EXE is complete, upload the new PST file and import it again (probably a new mapping file needed). Then also tell the PST Ingestion service that it is to continue processing items even if it finds bad items. To do this you need to configure a custom BadItemLimit once the import starts (as the current BadItemLimit default is 0, which means to fail at the first bad item. You will get “TooManyBadItemsPermanentException” errors in the import log file if you need to do this. To set the BadItemLimit use either of the following:

  1. Connect to Exchange Online via remote PowerShell
  2. Get-MailboxImportRequest | FL name, mailbox, status, whencreated, requestguid
  3. This returns a list of import requests. Look for the most recent and get the requestguid value.
  4. Set-MailboxImportRequest -Identity “request-guid-found-above” -BadItemLimit unlimited –AcceptLargeDataLoss

Or you can just set the BadItemLimit the same for all imports without looking for the latest one

  1. $all_import_requests = Get-Mailboximportrequest
    Foreach ($import_request in $all_import_requests)
    {
    Set-Mailboximportrequest -identity ($import_request).requestguid -BadItemLimit unlimited –AcceptLargeDataLoss
    }

Managing Office 365 Groups With Remote PowerShell

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Azure, cloud, exchange, exchange online, groups, IAmMEC, mcm, mcsm, MVP, Office 365, owa, powershell

Announced during Microsoft Ignite 2015, there are now PowerShell administration cmdlets available for the administration of the Groups feature in Office 365.

The cmdlets are all based around “UnifedGroups”, for example Get-UnifiedGroups.

Create a Group

Use New-UnifiedGroup to do this. An example would be New-UnifiedGroup -DisplayName “Sales” -Alias sales –EmailAddress sales@contoso.com

The use of the EmailAddress parameter is useful as it allows you to set a group that is not given an email address based on your default domain, but from one of the other domains in your Office 365 tenant.

Modify a Groups Settings

Use Set-UnifiedGroup to change settings such as the ability to receive emails from outside the tenant (RequireSenderAuthenticationEnabled would be $false), limit email from a whitelist (AcceptMessagesOnlyFromSendersOrMembers) and other Exchange distribution list settings such as hidden from address lists, mail tips and the like. AutoSubscribeNewMembers can be used to tell the group to email all new messages to all new members, PrimarySmtpAddress to change the email address that the group sends from.

Remove a Group

This is the new Remove-UnifiedGroup cmdlet.

Add Members to a Group

This cmdlet is Add-UnifiedGroupLinks. For example Add-UnifiedGroupLinks sales -LinkType members -Links brian,nicolas will add the two names members to the group. The LinkType value can be members as shown, but also “owners” and “subscribers” to add group administrators (owners) or just those who receive email sent to the group but not access to the groups content. To change members to owners you do not need to remove the members, just run something like Add-UnifiedGroupLinks sales –LinkType owners -Links brian,nicolas

You can also pipe in a user list from, for example a CSV file, to populate a group. This would read: Add-UnifiedGroupLinks sales -LinkType members -Links $users where $users = Get-Content username.csv would be run before it to populate the $users variable. The source of the variable can be anything done in PowerShell.

Remove Members from a Group

For this use Remove-UnifiedGroupLinks and mention the group name, the LinkType (member, owner or subscriber) and the user or users to remove.

To Disable Group Creation in OWA

Set-OWAMailboxPolicy is used to create a policy that is not allowed to create Groups and then users have that policy applied to them. For example Set-OWAMailboxPolicy “Students” –GroupCreationEnabled $false followed by Set-CASMailbox mary –OWAMailboxPolicy Students to stop the user “mary” creating groups. After the policy is assigned and propagates around the Office 365 service, the user can join and leave groups, but not create them.

Control Group Naming

This feature allows you to control the group name or block words from being used. This is easier to set in the Distribution Groups settings in Exchange Control Panel rather than via PowerShell. To do this EAC use Recipients > Groups and click the ellipses icon (…) and select Configure Group Naming Policy. This is the same policy for distribution groups. You can add static text to the start or end of name, as well as dynamic text such as region.

Admins creating groups are not subject to this policy, but unlike DL’s if they create groups in PowerShell the policy is also not applied and so the -IgnoreNamingPolicy switch is not required.

The Case of the Disappearing Folders

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in 2013, exchange online, IAmMEC, MVP, Office, Office 365 ProPlus, Outlook

Here is a issue I have come across at one of my current clients – you create a folder in Outlook 2013 when in the “Mail” view (showing only mail folders – your typical default view) and the folder does not get created. For example, in the below picture the user is in the middle of creating a folder called “Test Inline” as a child of the “SO” folder:

image

Upon pressing Enter, the folder disappears and fails to be created:

image

So where does one see this issue? It happens when the parent folder in question, in this case the “SO” folder is created by Microsoft’s PST Capture Tool. The PST Capture Tool creates a parent folder in the Online Archive in Exchange (in this case Exchange Online but it does not matter which Exchange Server) named after the PST file, so in this case SO.pst was uploaded by the PST Capture Tool. Any attempt to create folders inline below this parent folder fails! If you drag content into this folder it will not allow you to drop the content in, and the folder appears to be read-only.

If you change Outlooks view to Folder view (click the … on the Outlook 2013 view bar to the right) then you can create folders (using a dialog) and that works fine – this is how “Test Dialog” was made in the above pictures.

In Outlook 2010 all works as expected! In Outlook 2013 the issue appears to be the way Outlook handles folders that have a MAPI property on the folder created with a null value. In tools such as MFCMapi and OutlookSpy you can view the MAPI properties of a folder and the folder created by PST Capture Tool has a property call PR_CONTAINER_CLASS_W with a null (empty) value. Normally, Outlook will make folders that have “IPF.Note” as the value of this folder, if this is a mail and notes folder (i.e. not a calendar or contact etc folder). But clearly there is a problem, as Folder view allows you to create subfolders when the parent’s PR_CONTAINER_CLASS_W value is null and so does Outlook 2010 and coincidently does OWA!

The fix, but I do not have it ready yet, is to run an EWS script to reset the PR_CONTAINER_CLASS_W property of this folder to IPF.Note or wait for an update to Outlook from Microsoft, and for that I have contacted them.

With thanks to fellow MVP Jaap Wesselius for double-checking this for me and testing it in Outlook 2010.

Group Policy Import To Fix Google Chrome v37 Issues With Exchange Server and Microsoft CRM

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in 2010, 2013, Chrome, crm, Dynamics, exchange, exchange online, Group Policy, IAmMEC, Office 365, owa

A recent update to Google Chrome (37.0.2062.120) removed the ability to support modal dialog boxes. This are dialogs that require your attention and stop you going back to the previous page until you have completed the info required – these are very useful in workflow type scenarios.

Google claim that as 0.004% of web sites use them (from Google anonymous statistics gathering that you can opt into in Chrome) they are justified in removing support for them – but they have not removed other things that have the same level of support!

With this version of Chrome (or the Chromium open source browser) there is a work around until April 30th 2015 that will allow modal dialogs to work again. Without this work around clicking links in OWA and ECP in Exchange 2010 and OWA and EAC in Exchange Online and Exchange 2013 will not popup. This can cause issues such as the inability to attach files in OWA and to create objects in ECP/EAC for the administrator. Popups in Microsoft CRM also do not work.

As a work around you could use a different browser, but if Chrome works for you (or does not in this case) and you are joined to a domain then you can download the following GPO export file and import it into your Active Directory to enable modal dialogs to work again in Exchange Server, Office 365 and Microsoft CRM products.

To download and import this GPO file to enable Chrome modal dialog box functionality to resume (until 30th April 2015, when Google stop allowing the work around) follow these steps:

  1. Download Google Chrome Show Modal Dialog Before 30 April 2015.zip
  2. Copy to a domain controller and expand the zip file. Ensure the contents of the zip file are not placed directly on your desktop as you cannot import from the desktop directly, so if you expand the zip to the desktop then copy the one folder that was created into a new subfolder.
  3. Start Group Policy Management MMC admin tool.
  4. Expand Forest > Domain > Your Domain > Group Policy Objects.
  5. Right click “Group Policy Objects” and choose New
  6. Create a new GPO called “Chrome and Chromium Modal Dialog Box Allow”:
    image
  7. Right click “Chrome and Chromium Modal Dialog Box Allow” GPO that you just made and choose Import Settings
  8. Proceed through the import wizard. You do not need to backup this new GPO on the second page of the dialog as the new GPO is empty.
  9. On the third page of the wizard browse to the parent folder containing the contents of the download above:
    image
  10. Click Next and you should see one backed up GPO listed:
    image
  11. Click Next to import this. If you click View Settings first a web page will open showing you that this GPO sets two registry keys for the computer and two registry keys for the user. These set SOFTWARE\Policies\Chromium\EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures and Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\EnableDeprecatedWebPlatformFeatures (for both Chromium and Chrome browsers) with a reg key (type string) 1:ShowModalDialog_EffectiveUntil20150430
  12. Proceed with Next and then Finish and the import will begin:
    image
  13. Click OK.
  14. Now link the GPO object to the root of your domain so it impacts all users and to the root of any OU that blocks inheritance. Import to other domains as above or link from this domain depending upon your current policy for managing GPO cross domains.
  15. Delete the zip and folder you downloaded. They are not needed any more.

Exchange Online Free/Busy Issues with OAuth Authentication

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in 2010, 2013, EWS, exchange, exchange online, Free/Busy, OAuth, Office 365

Update: 10 Dec 2014: It is reported that this issue is fixed in CU7 for Exchange Server 2013

OAuth authentication is a new server to server authentication model available in Exchange 2013 SP1 and later and Exchange Online (Office 365). With OAuth enabled and Exchange hybrid in place and where you have multiple endpoints of Exchange Server on-premises and those on-premises Exchange Servers are different versions then you might have issues getting Exchange Online to On-Premises free/busy lookups to work.

Here is the scenario:

Company with Exchange 2010 servers in multiple internet connected sites, going hybrid to Exchange Online.

Exchange Online tenant created and hybrid mode put in place between Exchange Online and Exchange Server 2013 on-premises. In the site where the Exchange 2013 hybrid servers are located there are Exchange 2010 SP3 servers. As hybrid mode was set up with SP1, OAuth was enabled.

Exchange 2010 in the remote sites is configured with an ExternalURL for EWS. Therefore a free/busy lookup from an Office 365 user to a mailbox in one of these remote sites goes direct to the EWS endpoint on Exchange 2010 – it is not proxied via the 2013 hybrid server.

With OAuth enabled this configuration will fail as Exchange Online will use OAuth to authenticate to Exchange 2010 on-premises and fail. The IIS logs will contain entries such as this:

2014-07-22 19:39:34 10.100.28.73 POST /ews/exchange.asmx – 443 – 10.100.28.220 ASProxy/CrossForest/EmailDomain//15.00.0985.008 401 0 0 0

Where the 401 indicates authentication failed and the path ASProxy/CrossForest/EmailDomain indicating OAuth in use. There will be no entries in the IIS log for the Federation Org type of authentication.

If the EWS connection for free/busy goes via the 2013 hybrid server (ExternalURL for the remote site is null) then the free/busy lookup works, or if the OAuth connector in Exchange Online is disabled (Get-IntraOrganizationConnector | Set-IntraOrganizationConnector -Enabled $false from Exchange Online remote PowerShell session) and EWS lookup for free/busy goes direct to the remote Exchange 2010 server then free/busy lookups work.

So if you want OAuth and direct EWS connections to remote sites for free/busy you need Exchange 2013 at those remote sites. If you want to have Exchange 2013 hybrid servers only at your primary site (for mail flow) and OAuth as well (for eDiscovery cross-forest) then you need to proxy your EWS free/busy requests via the Exchange 2013 hybrid server.

This is a known issue in Exchange and may be fixed in the future.

Speaking at TechEd Europe 2014

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in certificates, cloud, EOP, exchange, exchange online, Exchange Online Protection, GeoDNS, hybrid, IAmMEC, journaling, mcm, mcsm, MVP, Office 365, smarthost, smtp, starttls, TechEd, TLS, transport

I’m please to announce that Microsoft have asked me to speak on “Everything You Need To Know About SMTP Transport for Office 365” at TechEd Europe 2014 in Barcelona. Its going to be a busy few weeks as I go from there to the MVP Summit in Redmond, WA straight from that event.

image

My session is going to see how you can ensure your migration to Office 365 will be successful with regards to keeping mail flow working and not seeing any non-deliverable messages. We will cover real world scenarios for hybrid and staged migrations so that we can consider the impact of mail flow at all stages of the project. We will look at testing mail flow, SMTP to multiple endpoints, solving firewalling issues, and how email addressing and distribution group delivery is done in Office 365 so that we always know where a user is and what is going to happen when they are migrated.

Compliance and hygiene issues will be covered with regards to potentially journaling from multiple places and the impact of having anti-spam filtering in Office 365 that might not be your mail flow entry point.

We will consider the best practices for changing SMTP endpoints and when is a good time to change over from on-premise first to cloud first delivery, and if you need to maintain on-premises delivery how should you go about that process.

And finally we will cover troubleshooting the process should it go wrong or how to see what is actually happening during your test phase when you are trying out different options to see which works for your company and your requirements.

Full details of the session, once it goes live, are at http://teeu2014.eventpoint.com/topic/details/OFC-B350 (Microsoft ID login needed to see this). Room and time to be announced.