An important part of Microsoft's anti-spoofing protection technology is the introduction of Composite Authentication. Microsoft created Composite Authentication to help identify spoofed senders and phishing email when senders do not use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication. It is primarily used by Microsoft when sending to Office 365 users, but it may also appear when sending to Outlook.com users. For additional information on Microsoft's anti-spoofing technology, please read:
When Composite Authentication is used on an email, the results are placed in the Authentication-Results email header using the "compauth" and "reason" tags. A compauth=fail result means Microsoft classifies your email as spoofed.
Authentication-Results: compauth=<value> reason=<value>
Authentication-Results: spf=none (sender IP is XX.XX.XXX.X) smtp.mailfrom=example.net; hotmail.com; dkim=none header.d=example.net;hotmail.com; dmarc=none action=none header.from=example.net;compauth=fail reason=001
How to locate the Authentication-Results header in Return Path Platform
- Login to Return Path Platform
- Click on the Inbox Placement tile
- Click on the Campaign tab
- Click on Seeded Campaigns
- Click on the subject line for a campaign having Microsoft delivery issues
- In the list of Mailbox Providers, locate either Microsoft or Office 365, depending on where you are having an issue.
- Click on the Details button
- Locate the CoreSeed addresses and click on
Composite Authentication Charts
|fail||Message failed explicit authentication (sending domain published records explicitly in DNS) or implicit authentication (sending domain did not publish records in DNS, so Office 365 interpolated the result as if it had published records).|
|pass||Message passed explicit authentication (message passed DMARC, or Best Guess Passed DMARC) or implicit authentication with high confidence (sending domain does not publish email authentication records, but Office 365 has strong backend signals to indicate the message is likely legitimate).|
|softpass||Message passed implicit authentication with low-to-medium confidence (sending domain does not publish email authentication, but Office 365 has backend signals to indicate the message is legitimate but the strength of the signal is weaker).|
|none||Message did not authenticate (or it did authenticate but did not align), but composite authentication not applied due to sender reputation or other factors.|
|0xx||Message failed composite authentication.
000 means the message failed DMARC with an action of reject or quarantine.
001 means the message failed implicit email authentication. This means that the sending domain did not have email authentication records published, or if they did, they had a weaker failure policy (SPF soft fail or neutral, DMARC policy of p=none).
002 means the organization has a policy for the sender/domain pair that is explicitly prohibited from sending spoofed email, this setting is manually set by an administrator.
010 means the message failed DMARC with an action of reject or quarantine, and the sending domain is one of your organization's accepted-domains (this is part of self-to-self, or intra-org, spoofing).
|1xx, 2xx, 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx||Correspond to various internal codes for why a message passed implicit authentication, or had no authentication but no action was applied.|
|6xx||Means the message failed implicit email authentication, and the sending domain is one of your organization's accepted domains (this is part of self-to-self, or intra-org, spoofing).|