Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is ruining Outlook.com

Contributor

About a week ago, I noticed that all URLs were suddenly extremely long/obscure, and beginning with something like: https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=

 

It destroys the URL visibility experience.

 

I quickly realized that this was an Office 365 (E5) feature called ATP, but I'm not talking about Office 365 here but rather the consumer Outlook.com site.

 

I need to find out if we're going to be able to disable this, and when.

 

It's unbelievable that MS just foisted it on us, since it's not even in the vast majority of Office 365 plans!  I realize that some people have been seeing it longer than one week.

72 Replies
Still no proper way to disable this BS? That's why I hate Microsoft!

The number of ways MS is crapping on its users are too many to keep track of. 
One of the worst was when I joined the Insider Program for Windows 10. I ended up with no OS at all on my computer because it erased my Win8.1 license and as a reward for participating I got an invalid Win10 Pro license. They didn't even hold their end of the deal. And MS themselves said I have myself to blame for using their software. Their words, not mine.
Or what about when they disabled the support for hotmail in Windows Live Mail? Why stop users from using the "in house" mail service? 

If this BS was really supposed to help us, why are they letting through all this crap in my inbox. The inbox rules only work intermittently and often they end up in the junk mail folder. And the junk mail with its "approved links" end up in my inbox. Approved links that go straight to spammers and phishing attempts.
No MS. Go back to the drawing board. This is not good enough. At least I could hover the links before to see if htey were scam or not. Today the number of successful scams will rise tenfold. And it will all be due to Microsoft "Security".

Call me paranoid, but MS reads every URL that is sent to me in an e-mail, and through Safe Links now knows every URL on which I actually click? Sounds like a great data mining opportunity to me. They may pass the URL through a screen to check it, but I just don't believe they don't also track the URLs I follow. I can't (easily) copy the URL and paste it into my browser to prevent that because now it passes first through an MS server before directing me to the real URL. Sad.

Dear paranoid?,
For a few years now Microsoft will occasionally send me an email that has a couple buttons on it that reads
Is this:
SPAM
NOT SPAM

I can see the content, it might be one that was sent to me or not.

If it looks like SPAM and I select that button it loads in the browser of choice and only has a CLOSE button. You then click that and it:
Closes that web page tab
Deletes the email.

It's clearly watching what the link does in that browser page as it loads and it contains its actions.

It was a MS Partner program I was asked to volunteer on years ago and it's an old hotmail account that generates tons of spam [1999 era].

I don't get any feedback, but I guess I'm helping. But it's all automated. Usually a couple a month.

I'm not paranoid until things slooow waaay dooowwnn.

The links we are addressing in THIS post kinda work against a black list database and is mostly automated but can generate metrics on data that can be determined to be suspicious. That probably helps to maintain the black list. I doubt anyone is reading your stuff, (there would need to be alot of bored MS email reading employees) but then again if it's evil you really don't want it functioning on your end.

My concern originally with THIS post was that it slows down browsers and eats up cpu and time.

I chose to turn all of my many MS email accounts off from the routing function in THIS post except that one old hotmail account. I now know MS has that OFF switch on each account as they manage the email servers they are protecting. If you ask them nicely and follow the steps they will turn it off. Then it's up to you to protect yourself.

Cheers

Talking to Microsoft is like talking to a brick wall? This is an insult to brick walls everywhere! How dare you!

Do not like!

I’m a user of Cisco SpamCop and any email I determine is spam/phishing gets reported.

This “safelink” appears in an email and I’m trying decipher if it is as safe as it appears to be, or not.

Even I, the suspicious careful checker, thought “this looks different but genuine”!!

Absolutely not. After working to see what the real email sender’s intended URL is, then I follow through with my usual redirect checks and find the final destination is another Canada Pharmacy site in a “.ru” domain,

How do we switch OFF this unhelpful “service” Microsoft? (I have a hotmail.com address and review my emails using the native Apple iOS mail app on my phone, and AltaMail to get at the mail headers)
You have to contact support to get them to turn it off. If at first contact they claim to not know what you're talking about, be persistent. I did this late last year.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/advanced-outlook-com-security-for-office-365-subscribers-88...
Looks like that worked. Thanks

Microsoft has ruined my experience in OUTLOOk.  What possessed M$ to come up with such a cluttered behavior?  As a retired engineer I am more and more frustrated by M$ changes thrust on us without notice before hand.

Sorry, but PSR has absolutely nothing to do with ATP .. Problem State Recorder - captures the screens and user action -- I would image that the Microsoft Technicians know that Abomination that is ATP looks like. 

Thanks.  I had no idea what PSR was or is.  I did observe M$ chugging away on my modem at every move in OUTLOOK and now I know what it is called.  A nice thing they did was to copy my new subdirectories I created on my Laptop access to mail (my preferred usage) to the on-line direct access.  That behavior might have a different program name and I can't worry about that.  M$ does what M$ wants!

 

The Messed up URLs for their security scheme is a pain.  When I mail to family or a retiree friend I use Verizon or Yahoo at their direct site to avoid all that junk.  At every reply the URL junk multiplies.

 

Everybody needs to push M$ for an opt-out button.

This wrapping of hyperlinks fails every time (as of 1/29/2019). If you can't fix this IMMEDIATELY, you need to turn it off.

If it's producing 503 errors when opening one of these links, this is a service incident that's being worked on and should soon be resolved.  

Thank you. Yes, the problem appears to have been resolved.

I still get a few 503 errors on sites sent by reliable retired engineers.  WORSE, my Outlook with my Outlook.com address Takes minutes to open up.  I am holding on to my WIN-7 laptop.  Is Microsoft squeezing me to update?

 

An engineer associate uses Outlook.net and his URLs do not get encrypted!  What a mystery.  Microsoft is the biggest virus in the world IMHO.

How do I turn it off.  I see no option.  In the upper right of the normal Outlook screen there is a "Coming Soon" switch of things to come.  That switch is OFF.  I just had to totally install a fresh Office 365 because I lost access to all 2019 emails.  I use Outlook.com on a WIN-7 HP laptop.  If I turn that switch ON, will it give me the fix in your later post?

 

Thanks for the interest.

Microsoft's fix was in its own infrastructure, not in the Outlook program on my desktop. Outlook is still "wrapping" hyperlinks, but they now work properly.

Do you have WIN-10?  That could make a difference.  Microsoft (M$) is not very helpful.

Yes, I run Windows 10 and Office 365 (Home or Personal).