We've noticed that for some users of our website, they have a problem that if they following links to the website from external source (specifically Outlook and MS Word) that they arrive at the website in such a way that User.IsAuthenticated is false, even though they are still logged in in other tabs.

After hours of diagnosis, it appears to be because the FormsAuthentication cookie is not sent sometimes when the external link is clicked. If we examine in Fiddler, we see different headers for links clicked within the website, versus the headers which are as a result of clicking a link in a Word document or Email. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the cookie (has "/" as path, no domain, and a future expiration date).

Here is the cookie being set:

Set-Cookie: DRYXADMINAUTH2014=<hexdata>; expires=Wed, 01-Jul-2015 23:30:37 GMT; path=/

Here is a request sent from an internal link:

GET http://domain.com/searchresults/media/?sk=creative HTTP/1.1
Host: domain.com    
Cookie: Diary_SessionID=r4krwqqhaoqvt1q0vcdzj5md; DRYXADMINAUTH2014=<hexdata>;

Here is a request sent from an external (Word) link:

GET http://domain.com/searchresults/media/?sk=creative HTTP/1.1
Host: domain.com
Cookie: Diary_SessionID=cpnriieepi4rzdbjtenfpvdb

Note that the .NET FormsAuthentication token is missing from the second request. The problem doesn't seem to be affected by which browser is set as default and happens in both Chrome and Firefox.

Is this normal/expected behaviour, or there a way we can fix this?

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