Preview Header in Email Changing Message Encoding to Arabic

Georgia Broske 20 Reputation points
2023-06-02T15:45:07.0033333+00:00

Curious if anyone else has ever seen this or if it's just us. We have on prem Exchange servers and we use Proofpoint for our filtering. Proofpoint has external message tags you can enable. It throws a handy little banner on emails warning it's from an external source and removes it on replies. When I enable that I start seeing a preview header on HTML messages. If I send a test email from my @outlook.com address to my work address, when I view the source of the message in Outlook I see a bunch of garbage characters like this in that preview header:

ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž ž

If I view the source in Proofpoint before it hits Exchange, the preview header has these spacing characters:

‍ ‍ ‍ &zwj

Once the message is delivered, if I look at the message in Outlook under Actions, More Actions and Encoding, the message has flipped to Arabic encoding. Which I suspect is due to the preview header. Once I turn the Proofpoint tags off that behavior stops and no Arabic / charset="windows-1256" encoding. I've tried going into Outlook's Advanced Options and setting my preferred encoding, but once the email is set to Arabic, my replies go out with Arabic encoding regardless of my preferred encoding option. My messages end up in junk a lot because who would expect me to be sending Arabic email? Proofpoint tells me this is a Microsoft issue with how Outlook is viewing and translating the preview header spacing. If that's true, is there any way to correct that? I'd love to be able to use the Proofpoint tags, but I can't have our emails going to junk all the time either.

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A family of Microsoft client/server messaging and collaboration software.
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Accepted answer
  1. Kael Yao-MSFT 37,671 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor
    2023-06-05T05:29:30.46+00:00

    Hi @Georgia Broske

    Once I turn the Proofpoint tags off that behavior stops and no Arabic / charset="windows-1256" encoding.

    Since if turning off the tags, the issue will no longer occur, to me the cause may still be with Proofpoint.

    I would suggest comparing email headers of two incoming messages from the same sender (for example outlook.com), one with tags added and one without tags.

    Then check the charset of the messages to see if the tagged one becomes windows-1256.

    If yes, this change may possibly be done by Proofpoint and better consider their support for further investigation.


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