Microsoft Company Portal temporary unavailable error troubleshooting

Recently was assisting the Intune team to troubleshoot “Company Portal Temporary Unavailable” error for the iOS devices.

The Azure AD was federated with AD FS.

Looking at the Company Portal logs from mobile device the following detailed error message was discovered (extracted the part we are interested in):

InAppProcess : {context = “Failed to fetch aad service token! Error: Optional(Error with code: -1005 Domain: NSURLErrorDomain ProtocolCode:(null) Details:The network connection was lost.. Inner error details: Error domain: NSURLErrorDomain\nCode: -1005\nDescription: The network connection was lost.\nUser info: {\n   NSErrorFailingURLKey = \”https://sts.domain.com/adfs/ls/?

This error pointed us to Network/SSL issues, not Authentication.

As always used the great SSL test portal https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/ to check SSL settings for the AD FS public host name.

In the Handshake Simulation section we saw the following:


Looking at the supported TLS Cipher Suites saw this:


Looking at the following Apple Developer site we get following information about one of the requirements for Connecting Using ATS:

The connection must use either the AES-128 or AES-256 symmetric cipher. The negotiated TLS connection cipher suite must support perfect forward secrecy (PFS) through Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman Ephemeral (ECDHE) key exchange, and must be one of the following:


In this environment the Load Balancer was installed in front of Web Application Proxy (WAP) and SSL offloading was configured for AD FS farm host name.

Adjusting the supported cipher suit settings to the recommended above values has addressed the issue.

There is another great blog post about this issue troubleshooting.

And this is Intune What’s New page describing new ATS requirement.

AD FS 2016 Access Control Policies troubleshooting

The Access Control (AC) policies were introduced in AD FS 2016.

See this official documentation to get familiar with AD FS Access Control policies concept and settings.

Recently had to troubleshoot the following scenario.

Customer has Hybrid Exchange environment with email boxes located in on premises Exchange 2010 and archives located in Exchange Online.

Exchange on premises did not have Modern Authentication enabled.

Office 365 domain federated with AD FS 2016.

AD FS was configured to use Azure MFA.

The goal was to require MFA for all external users using Outlook 2016 and accessing their mailboxes and archives and skip MFA if the user is located inside corporate network.

At the beginning the following AD FS AC policy was configured for Office 365 Relying Party Trust (RPT).

Permit users
	and when authentication includes MFA
	from 'intranet' location;

Permit everyone

The issue with this policy is the “Permit everyone” at the second part, since this rule will allow anybody who didn’t meet requirement in first policy, to authenticate.

So the AD FS AC policy was modified the following way and applied to O365 RPT.

Permit users
	and when authentication includes MFA
	from 'intranet' location

And that’s where the unexpected authentication pop-up windows and MFA prompts started to happen when users inside corporate network were opening Outlook to access their email.

User continuously was receiving the Windows Security pop-up window that didn’t except correct user credentials and there was a second pop-up asking to authenticate again and that was triggering the MFA call to the user’s phone.

Analyzing the authentication flow based on the Exchange layout mentioned above, it was confirmed that its expected to have following authentication events to happen:

  1. User accessing email box located in on premises Exchange must authenticate via AD FS using legacy authentication from Intranet.
  2. When accessing email archive, Exchange Online has to authenticate user as well and since the legacy authentication was used, Exchange Online was authenticating on behalf of the user from outside of the corporate network.

By the way, due to the fact of legacy authentication flow we were not able to use Microsoft Claims X-Ray service.

To reduce the impact to production users, it was recommended to change the Access Control policy to contain these settings:
1. Permit users from the security group with MFA and exclude Intranet
2. Permit users from the security group with MFA and exclude Internet if the client IP (public IP of the office) matches the regex.
3. Permit all.

AD FS Access Control policy now looked like this.

Permit users
	from 'TEST' group
	and when authentication includes MFA
	from 'intranet' location;

Permit users
	from 'TEST' group
	and when authentication includes MFA
	from 'extranet' location
	and with 'http://schemas.microsoft.com/2012/01/requestcontext/claims/x-ms-client-ip' claim regex matches 'regex_for_public_IP_of_the_office' in the request;

Permit everyone

Applied this AD FS AC policy to Office 365 RPT and still there were two prompts when the Outlook 2016 is opened – basic authentication window when accessing on premises email box and Modern Authentication prompt with MFA when accessing EXO archive.

In the AD FS Admin logs we saw the error: “MSIS5007: The caller authorization failed for caller identity XXX for relying party trust urn:federation:MicrosoftOnline.”

And in the AD FS Debug logs see the MFA is still required regardless the fact that the authentication attempt is coming from Intranet.

After multiple additional tests and getting better understanding how the Access Control policies are applied the following AD FS AC Policy was crafted that has addressed the issue completely.

Permit users 
	from 'extranet' location
	and from ‘TEST’' group
	and with 'http://schemas.microsoft.com/2012/01/requestcontext/claims/x-ms-forwarded-client-ip' claim regex matches 'regex_for_public_IP_of_the_office' in the request;

Permit users 
	from 'extranet' location
	and from 'TEST' group
	and when authentication includes MFA
	with 'http://schemas.microsoft.com/2012/01/requestcontext/claims/x-ms-forwarded-client-ip' claim regex matches 'regex_for_public_IP_of_the_office' in the request;

Permit users 
	from 'intranet' location
	and from 'TEST' group;

Permit everyone

The AD FS Access Control polices above work the following way:
1. Permits authentication coming from Internet if its EXO legacy authentication protocol on behalf of the user in the test security group coming from office public IP address;
2. Permits any other authentication for the test group coming from Internet if the MFA completed, but excludes office public IP from this rule (to make sure the first rule works as expected);
3. Permits authentication from the Intranet with no MFA for the test group (authentication to on premises Exchange)
4. And the last one catch Permit All group to make sure prod users are not affected during testing.

ADFS Access Control Policy

When the AD FS AC policy was successfully tested with the users added to the TEST group, the policy was applied to the rest of the production users by removing the TEST group condition from the first three policies and removing “Permit everyone”.

PowerShell script to collect ADFS Extranet Smart Lockout events sequence

Below is slightly modified script from here to collect the sequence of the EventIDs 1203 and 1210 on single AD FS server that might help you understanding and troubleshooting the AD FS Extranet Smart Lockout (ESL) behavior.

You can read more about AD FS ESL behavior here and here.

$events = Get-WinEvent -MaxEvents 2000 -FilterHashtable @{Logname='Security';Id=1203,1210}
$events2 = ($events | select ID, Message,TimeCreated -ExpandProperty Message)
$info = @()

$events2 | foreach {

$IpAddresses = $null
$UserId = $null
$BadCount = $null

    $IpStart = $_.Message.IndexOf("<IpAddress>")
    $IpEnd = $_.Message.IndexOf("</IpAddress>")
    $IpAddresses = $_.Message.Substring($IpStart+11,($IpEnd-$IpStart-11))

    $UserIdStart = $_.Message.IndexOf("<UserId>")
    $UserIdEnd = $_.Message.IndexOf("</UserId>")
    $UserId = $_.Message.Substring($UserIdStart+8,($UserIdEnd-$UserIdStart-8))
 if ($_.Id -like 1210) 
    $BadCountStart = $_.Message.IndexOf("<CurrentBadPasswordCount>")
    $BadCountEnd = $_.Message.IndexOf("</CurrentBadPasswordCount>")
    $BadCount = $_.Message.Substring($BadCountStart+25,($BadCountEnd-$BadCountStart-25))
    else {$BadCount = $null}

$Fail = New-object -TypeName PSObject
add-member -inputobject $Fail -membertype noteproperty -name "EventID" -value $_.Id
add-member -inputobject $Fail -membertype noteproperty -name "TimeStamp" -value $_.TimeCreated
add-member -inputobject $Fail -membertype noteproperty -name "IPaddress" -value $IpAddresses
add-member -inputobject $Fail -membertype noteproperty -name "User ID" -value $UserId
add-member -inputobject $Fail -membertype noteproperty -name "BadCount" -value $BadCount

$info +=$Fail
$info | ft

AD FS 2016 Extranet Smart Lockout eventIDs 1203 and 1210 clarification

Continuing my journey of learning the great AD FS Extranet Smart Lockout (ESL) feature.

As mentioned in my other post, the enhancement were made in AD FS 2016 auditing and there will be Event ID 1203 logged in the ADFS Security log by ADFS Auditing in case there was a failure to validate user credentials against Active Directory.

When you have enabled ADFS Extranet Smart Lockout feature in either log or enforce mode and AD FS Security auditing was enabled (the user has AD FS ESL bad password counts set to zero), as soon as the external bad password attempt count reaches the value specified in the ExtranetLockoutThreshold (you will see event ID 1203 for each bad password attempt), the account will be locked out on AD FS for a duration specified in the ExtranetObservationWindow, the event ID 1210 will be logged in Security event log and password validation attempts will not be sent to Active directory.

As mentioned in AD FS ESL public documentation:

AD FS will write extranet lockout events to the security audit log:

  • When a user is locked out (reaches the lockout threshold for unsuccessful login attempts)
  • When AD FS receives a login attempt for a user who is already in lockout state

At the same time, no event ID 1203 will be logged, since no password validation against Active Directory is taking place.

Only after the extranet observation window expires, the password attempts will be forwarded to AD and if the password validation fails, the event ID 1203 is logged.

Please note, that the CurrentBadPasswordCount value in event ID 1210 only increases when the password validation happens against AD and at the time the account is locked on AD FS.

Also keep in mind, that when the AD FS ESL extranet observation window expires, it doesn’t clear the AD FS ESL bad password count until good password was provided, so one single 1203 event from the same bad IP location with no bad password counts cleared will put account in ESL state again for the time specified in the ExtranetObservationWindow.

Hope this information will be helpful for you.

AD FS Extranet Smart Lockout user management via remote PowerShell

Recently had experienced issue when trying to execute AD FS Extranet Smart Lockout user management cmdlet via remote PowerShell.

Invoke-Command -ComputerName Win2016-ADFS01 -scriptBlock {Get-AdfsAccountActivity -Identity user@domain.com}

Error in PowerShell:

Exception of type
‘Microsoft.IdentityServer.User.UserActivityRestServiceException’ was thrown.
+ CategoryInfo         : NotSpecified: (:) [Get-AdfsAccountActivity], User
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.IdentityServer.User.UserActivityRestSer
+ PSComputerName       : Win2016-ADFS01

In AD FS Admin logs on Win2016-ADFS01 server saw following error:

Log Name:     AD FS/Admin
Source:       AD FS
Date:         10/29/2018 5:20:39 PM
Event ID:     1100
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:     AD FS
User:         domain\adfs_service_account
Computer:     Win2016-ADFS01
The Federation Service could not authorize a request to one of the REST endpoints.
Additional Data
Exception details:
Microsoft.IdentityServer.WebHost.Rest.RestRequestAuthorizationFailedException: Only AD FS Service can access this endpoint. The client was authenticated as NT AUTHORITY\ANONYMOUS LOGON.
at Microsoft.IdentityServer.Web.UserActivity.UserStoreAuthenticationVerificationMethod.VerifyTrustedRequest(WrappedHttpListenerContext context, String& auditInformation)
at Microsoft.IdentityServer.Web.Rest.RestRequestHandler.OnGetContext(WrappedHttpListenerContext context)

Solution was to enable CredSSP on management machine and Win2016-ADFS01 server and use following commands:

$cred = Get-Credential
Invoke-Command -ComputerName Win2016-ADFS01 -Authentication Credssp -credential $cred -ScriptBlock {Get-AdfsAccountActivity user@domain.com}

You can read more about managing the second hop in PowerShell remoting and consideration when enabling CredSSP in this article – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/scripting/setup/ps-remoting-second-hop?view=powershell-6

Update 2-14-2019: Microsoft has updated the documentation how to delegate ADFS PowerShell access to non-admin users – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-fs/operations/delegate-ad-fs-pshell-access


AD FS 2016 Extranet Smart Lockout behavior

I’m sure you are familiar with the following articles discussing the Federated account lockouts and AD FS Extranet Smart Lockout (ESL) feature and set up recommendations.




Recently was helping the customer whose environment was experiencing high volume of on-premises AD accounts lockouts due to the external bad passwords attempts via AD FS 2016 farm.

As per second article, Microsoft recommends enabling the AD FS ESL in the log only mode. It is recommended to run AD FS ESL in such mode for 5-7 days to build the list of familiar locations per user.

Since the impact of the AD lockouts was high to the customer, they decided to switch from log to enforce mode after 24 hours of enabling the ESL, but ran into following issue.

It was not enough time to build the familiar IPs list, and some users accounts still experiencing heavy bad passwords attempts were locked out on AD FS side due to empty familiar IP addresses list.

This happened because in case in the output of Get-AdfsAccountActivity PowerShell cmdlet you see the familiar IP list is empty and the UnknownLockout = True, the user will not be able to sign in with correct password until the observationWindows time elapses or ADFS admin resets the count. In such scenario AD FS ESL works in AD FS Extranet Lockout mode introduced in AD FS 3.0.

This issue was addressed in AD FS 2019 where you can enable audit mode for smart lockout while continuing to enforce the soft lockout behavior (ADPasswordCounter)

AD FS Relying Party certificates errors troubleshooting (EventID 317)

Customer has configured the new Relying Party Trust by using the Relying Party Trust Wizard and importing the data from the file that was downloaded earlier on the management computer.

When testing the Relying Party sign-on, the application was returning the error

“An error SAML response status was received. urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:status:Responder”

Per following article https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh269642.aspx this means “The request could not be performed due to an error on the part of the SAML responder or SAML authority.”

Looking at the AD FS event logs, located the following self-explanatory error corresponding to unsuccessful sign in attempt.

Log Name:      AD FS/Admin
Source:        AD FS
Date:          7/3/2018 9:55:33 AM
Event ID:      317
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      AD FS
User:          xxx
Computer:      XXX
An error occurred during an attempt to build the certificate chain for the relying party trust ‘microsoft:identityserver:XXX’ certificate identified by thumbprint ‘xxx’. Possible causes are that the certificate has been revoked, the certificate chain could not be verified as specified by the relying party trust’s encryption certificate revocation settings or certificate is not within its validity period.
You can use Windows PowerShell commands for AD FS to configure the revocation settings for the relying party encryption certificate.
Relying party trust’s encryption certificate revocation settings: CheckChainExcludeRoot
The following errors occurred while building the certificate chain: 
A certificate chain could not be built to a trusted root authority.
The revocation function was unable to check revocation for the certificate.
The revocation function was unable to check revocation because the revocation server was offline.
User Action:
Ensure that the relying party trust’s encryption certificate is valid and has not been revoked.
Ensure that AD FS can access the certificate revocation list if the revocation setting does not specify “none” or a “cache only” setting.
Verify your proxy server setting. For more information about how to verify your proxy server setting, see the AD FS Troubleshooting Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=182180).

Per environment’s security requirements, the AD FS server had no Internet access, that is why the Certificate Revocation List checks for the Relying Party Encryption and Signing certificates were failing.

Please note, that this is not recommended to turn of the revocation checking, that is why you might review your firewall policy for external connections to the Internet for AD FS and WAP (https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/964.certificate-revocation-list-crl-verification-an-application-choice.aspx)

While the security team was reviewing the option allowing outbound connections from ADFS to some public Certificate Authority CRL URLs, we have used following switches in the Set-ADFSRelyingPartyTrust PowerShell command, to disable Relying Party certificates CRL check by setting the values to None.

-EncryptionCertificateRevocationCheck and – SigninCertificateRevocationCheck


Per this article these are the acceptable values:

–          None (this is default value)

–          CheckEndCert

–          CheckEndCertCacheOnly

–          CheckChain

–          CheckChainCacheOnly

–          CheckChainExcludingRoot

–          CheckChainExcludingRootCacheOnly

AD FS 2.0 and Safari (iOS 9 and iOS 10) sign in issue (authentication cookies size issue)

Recently have been working on the issue when the users on iOS 9 and 10 were not able to complete the authentication from outside of corporate network (via AD FS Proxy). The users were getting the error – “There was a problem accessing the site. Try to browse to the site again. Reference number: XXX”.

The same users from iOS 11 had no issues signing in via the same AD FS farm.

The users were the members of 150-200 on premises AD security groups.

It took me some time to go over basic troubleshooting and making sure the AD FS servers have all needed patches installed – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-fs/deployment/updates-for-active-directory-federation-services-ad-fs, but the issue persisted.

Turned out to be a known issue, when the older Safari versions have cookies size limitation.

Looking at the captured Fiddler trace we saw the AD FS was issuing 5 MSISAuth cookies (total size around 9 Kb) and when Safari was redirected to ADFS to get the access token, only 4 MSISAuth cookies were posted to ADFS (around 8 Kb). In this case Safari was dropping the cookies.

In order to work around this issue, the customer decided to do not pass all 200 security groups in the claims.

In order to achieve this, the default “Pass through all Group SID claims” was replaced with following claim rule since the customer was using these groups in his Authorization claim rules:

c:[Type == “http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2008/06/identity/claims/groupsid“, Value =~ “S-1-5-21-XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXX-XXX840|S-1-5-21-XXXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXXX-124XXXX”, Issuer == “AD AUTHORITY”] => issue(claim = c);

Federated applications (CRM and IIS) ADFS Single Sign-On (SSO) troubleshooting with Fiddler

Recently had very interesting issue to troubleshoot. This (long 😊 ) troubleshooting description for sure will help many to understand the ADFS Single Sign-On (SSO) flow and how to read the Fiddler traces.

Environment: ADFS 3.0, CRM 2013, IIS 8.5 running a site. Both the CRM and the IIS site are federated with the ADFS.

The CRM and the IIS site were accessed from outside of the corporate network, so only Form Based Authentication was taking place when redirected to the ADFS.

Problem: If the user accesses the IIS site first, completes authentication to the ADFS, then the user browses to the CRM site (using the same browser), the ADFS SSO takes place and user do not have to authenticate second time (put user name and password) via ADFS to access the CRM.

But if the user accesses the CRM first, completes authentication to the ADFS and then browses to the IIS site, the ADFS SSO doesn’t take place and the user is presented with the ADFS Form Based Authentication (FBA) page.

Another variable added to the puzzle was the fact that the CRM and the IIS belong to one Active Directory domain (lets call it EXTERNAL) and the ADFS belongs to other (call it PUBLIC). The two-way trust was configured between these domains. As troubleshooting continued, the issue was replicated if all three services (ADFS, CRM, IIS) were placed in the same AD, so the issue was NOT about on-premises AD location and which domain the services belonged to (more details explained below).

Troubleshooting: As always in such cases, the Fiddler trace was captured to get better understanding of browser redirections and sign in processes.

Here is a non-working SSO attempt (Note: in some screenshots I’m not able to show all the details (but will do my best to provide good description).


Frame #2 – user accesses the CRM and is redirected to the ADFS;

Frame #3-8 – user completes the ADFS FBA (providing correct username/password) and browser gets the ADFS SSO cookie – MSISAuth=AAEAAJo…;


Frame #9 – the ADFS redirects the browser with the ADFS SSO cookie to itself, where the ADFS SSO cookie is exchanged to the ADFS access token (MSISAuthenticated) that will be presented to the application as a proof that the user was authenticated;


Frame #10 – browser is redirected to the CRM Ws-Fed endpoint configured in the ADFS CRM Relying Party, where MSISAuthenticated cookie is exchanged to two application session cookies (MSISAuth=77uj… and MSISAuth=VWJ0…). These two cookies will always be presented to the CRM by browser as a proof that this is “authenticated” session;


Frame #13 – user opens a new tab in the browser and goes to the IIS site. The browser presents two CRM session cookies to the IIS site and obviously, the IIS site doesn’t recognize them and redirects the browser to the ADFS for authentication;


Frame #14 (were all fun begins) – The browser presents 3 cookies to the ADFS – the ADFS SSO cookie we got in Frame #8 + 2 CRM application cookies;


Looks like regardless correct ADFS SSO cookie presented (MSISAuth=AAEAAJo…), it was not accepted by the ADFS and the Form Based Authentication sign in page is returned. No errors in the ADFS Admin logs.

In the ADFS Debug logs see the following error:

Log Name:      AD FS Tracing/Debug
Source:        AD FS Tracing
Date:          2/6/2018 1:52:20 PM
Event ID:      67
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      ADFSProtocol
User:          S-1-5-21-1337953637-3591879799-2366245552-4020
Computer:      XXX
Ignore corrupted SSO cookie.

Have confirmed that this is expected ADFS 3.0 behavior to parse all cookies through its code pipe. Since the browser was presenting 2 cookies with the same name (MSISAuth – one set by the ADFS, other by the CRM) only the last one in the pipe was treated as the ADFS SSO cookie. But as we see from previous screenshot, the last cookie in the pipe was MSISAuth=77uj… and was set by CRM and for sure is not a valid ADFS SSO cookie.

When looking at the trace when we access the IIS site first and the CRM second, the issue with non-working SSO is NOT present, because the IIS site was setting cookies with the name of FedAuth and that cookie name is not causing the issue during the ADFS cookies evaluation.


Explained the above flow to the owner of the environment and said that the solution is to see if we can make sure the CRM is not using MSISAuth name for its session cookie.

After that, the owner of the environment added another variable to this puzzle . He said he has other CRM and IIS site federated with the same ADFS 3.0 farm, but there the issue we are troubleshooting is NOT present there!

Captured new Fiddler trace for working scenario.

Following screenshot is for working sign in.


The authentication flow is the same – user accesses CRM (#2), browser redirected to the ADFS, successfully authenticates (#3-8), the CRM WS-Fed endpoint sets the session cookies with name MSISAuth (#9-10), user opens new tab to the IIS site (#12), site redirects to the ADFS (#13).

But looking at the Frame #13 we see that the browser is sending ADFS only one MSISAuth cookie (the ADFS SSO cookie) which ADFS accepts and issues MSISAuthenticated cookie to the IIS site (SSO takes place to IIS).

Frame13Good signin

So now the question was – why in one scenario the browser presents 3 cookies (ADFS SSO + 2 app session cookies), in other only one ADFS SSO cookie.

You might have already noticed the difference in the scenarios. As mentioned at the beginning, it was NOT about the local AD and what Active Directory domains each of three services belong to.

The explanation was discovered in the Frame #10 where the CRM was setting the application cookies. Going to the Raw tab in the response window and viewing the frame in Notepad, gave the explanation.


The domain scope was set for the cookie by the CRM.

Since in non-working scenario, all three services (ADFS, CRM, IIS) are located in the same domain name space (domainA.com), the browser was presenting the CRM cookies as well to the ADFS when redirected from the IIS site.

In the second scenario the CRM was specifying domainB.com in the session cookies and because ADFS belong to domainA.com, the browser was not presenting the CRM cookies with the ADFS SSO cookie when it was redirected from the IIS to the ADFS for authentication.


To resolve the issue, it was decided to move production ADFS host name to different domain name space than CRM and IIS by the owner of the described environment.

So far was not able to confirm with the CRM team if its possible to change the name of the session cookies or make sure the domain name is not specified (though think the last is not a valid option at all).

AD FS Single Sign on is not working with Internet Explorer 11

Symptom: when accessing the federated application from inside of the corporate network using Internet Explorer, the users are presented with AD FS Forms Based authentication (FBA) page instead of Windows Integrated Authentication taking place. At the same time Edge and Chrome WIA are working as expected from intranet.

Since there was no Windows security pop up asking for user credentials and other browsers work, this was definitely not an issue related to Windows Authentication not being enabled in ADFS Primary Authentication Methods and not an issue when ADFS host name is missing from Local intranet security zone (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj203438.aspx) in Internet Explorer.

Have checked the list of supported WAI agents in the ADFS global properties by using this command:

Get-AdfsProperties |
Select WIASupportedUserAgents -ExpandProperty WIASupportedUserAgents

 The output was following. Can you find the missing agent string?


Correct, the “Trident/7.0” was missing.

Using the following command has resolved the issue:

Set-AdfsProperties -WIASupportedUserAgents ((Get-ADFSProperties |
Select -ExpandProperty WIASupportedUserAgents) + “Trident/7.0”)

You can read more about configuration of intranet form-based authentication for the devices that do not support WIA in this article – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-fs/operations/configure-intranet-forms-based-authentication-for-devices-that-do-not-support-wia

Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server with ADFS – EventID 105 troubleshooting.

One of the customers was following these instructions to configure Azure MFA Server to work with ADFS – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/multi-factor-authentication/multi-factor-authentication-get-started-adfs-w2k12

In his environment the MFA and ADFS roles were installed on separate servers (1 MFA and 2 ADFS servers with SQL database).

After carefully completing instructions, we saw following errors in the ADFS Admin logs after ADFS adapter was installed and ADFS service was restarted.

Log Name:      AD FS/Admin
Source:        AD FS
Date:          1/17/2018 10:16:59 AM
Event ID:      105
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      AD FS
User:          XXX
Computer:      XXX
An error occurred loading an authentication provider. Fix configuration errors using PowerShell cmdlets and restart the Federation Service.
Identifier: AzureMfaServerAuthentication
Context: Passive protocol TLS pipeline


Log Name:      AD FS/Admin
Source:        AD FS
Date:          1/17/2018 10:16:59 AM
Event ID:      105
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      AD FS
User:          XXX
Computer:      XXX
An error occurred loading an authentication provider. Fix configuration errors using PowerShell cmdlets and restart the Federation Service.
Identifier: AzureMfaServerAuthentication
Context: Proxy TLS pipeline

During troubleshooting performed following steps:

  • Made sure the Web Service SDK is installed on MFA server;
  • The Web Service SDK URL is accessible from MFA server and from ADFS server with the account that is specified in the MultiFactorAuthenticationAdfsAdapter.config file (no SSL certificate errors);
  • User specified in the MultiFactorAuthenticationAdfsAdapter.config file is a member of the PhoneFactor Admins domain security group;
  • Unregistered the ADFS adapter (need to do this on one ADFS server), restarted ADFS service (all ADFS servers), registered ADFS adapter again (on one ADFS server) – still the same EventID 105 error;

As a next troubleshooting step enabled ADFS debug log (open Event Viewer – check “Show Analytic and Debug Logs” under View menu – go to Applications and Services Logs – ADFS Tracing – right click on Debug log and select Enable log).

After restarting the ADFS service again, saw following EventID in the Debug logs.

Log Name:      AD FS Tracing/Debug
Source:        AD FS Tracing
Date:          1/17/2018 11:00:50 AM
Event ID:      183
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      ExternalAuthentication
User:          XXX
Computer:      XXX
ExternalAuthenticationHandler.OnAuthenticationPipelineLoad() exception: System.IO.InvalidDataException: Error parsing configuration data. —> System.InvalidOperationException: There is an error in XML document (3, 6). —> System.Xml.XmlException: Unexpected node type Element. ReadElementString method can only be called on elements with simple or empty content. Line 3, position 6.

Definitely something is wrong with the MultiFactorAuthenticationAdfsAdapter.configfile.

So we decided to copy the new file from \Program Files\Multi-Factor Authentication Server directory on MFA server to ADFS and carefully filled in the following fields:


After that no errors in the ADFS admin logs and MFA started working as secondary authentication method!

Comparing the Bad and Good configuration files discovered the root of the issue 🙂

It was a missing “<” after word true in line <UseWebServiceSdk>true</UseWebServiceSdk> that was accidentally deleted when customer was changing “false” value to “true”.

P.S. Check my new post for other possible typos in the config file that will cause slightly different error in the ADFS Debug logs.