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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Email Security/Tracking (Ol2002)

    Hi,

    Is anyone aware if there is a way of tracking an email?
    The problem I am attempting to solve is:
    I send an email to a group in an association and one of the recipients is forwarding the messages on to a friend who is using this info against us.
    I was hoping that there may be a way of adding an attachment that may send a reply to the author of where the original message has been.

    I'm probably dreaming but any ideas would be very welcome.

    Thanks
    Neville.

  2. #2
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    Re: Email Security/Tracking (Ol2002)

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> Neville

    E-mail headers are most often used when tracking down the origin of Spam. Headers are the hidden parts of an e-mail message that determine the who, where, and when of electronic mail. The header of the e-mail will tell you where it came from, where its been and what server(s) handled the routing of the message.

    Now sure there are ways to "spoof" this information, but if you are good at it, you will know it was spoofed.

    If you would like to learn about how to read an e-mail header, look at these sites:

    First you need to look at the header, so this site How do I get my email program to reveal the full, unmodified email? should be your starting point.

    Then you will need this one:

    Understanding E-mail message headers

    I am sure if you do a google search you will find a lot more interesting sites, but again, these are examples, and if you need more in-depth info, let us know.

    Hope this helps.

    Wassim
    I dislike spam, but not the meat product...
    <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20> in the <img src=/S/bagged.gif border=0 alt=bagged width=22 height=22>

  3. #3
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    Re: Email Security/Tracking (Ol2002)

    <img src=/S/sorry.gif border=0 alt=sorry width=15 height=15> Neville

    I miss understood your message. Its not that you want to track an e-mail you receive, its that you want to track some one else sending that e-mail along.

    Hum!!!

    Maybe you can have a BCC, blind carbon copy, recipient, and if your "friend" is not too careful, when the message is sent, it maybe bounced back to you as the BCC recipient.

    I am not sure if this will work, I am banking on the "stupidity" of people who simply hit the reply or forward button with out a second thought.

    Sorry, but the header info is also informative and good to know.

    Wassim
    <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20> in the <img src=/S/bagged.gif border=0 alt=bagged width=22 height=22>

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Email Security/Tracking (Ol2002)

    The official way to do it is to adopt Microsoft's (or someone's!) rights management technology. But perhaps this is not in your immediate future.

    One unofficial way is to send HTML mail with a "web bug" in it. Even a 1 pixel by 1 pixel graphic retrieved from a web server can leave information in the log about the recipient. This will include the public IP address of the computer on which it was opened, time and date, browser, and whatever query parameter you attach to the name of the graphic. Of course, this assumes you have access to a web server. Word documents also can have web bugs planted in them, although recent security patches might have limited their reach.

    Whoever tends your SMTP logs probably can watch for the forward, assuming the subject line is not changing. If the subject line is changing, you probably won't be able to match it up.

    You could put a trigger phrase in the message and have egress filters watch for it. If you are not using any egress filtering (e.g., for outbound viral or spam mail), then this might not be in your budget either.

    You could try a read receipt in case the message is forwarded as an attachment rather than inline in the body.

    You could "bait" the message with something that would lure third parties to visit a web site or otherwise turn themselves in (AKA "social engineering").

    But, in the end, information is difficult to control.

  5. #5
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    Re: Email Security/Tracking (Ol2002)

    Thanks for all your help guys, I did a bit of Googling for web bugs & email tracking after your sugestions and found a couple of possibilities (www.readnotify.com & a couple of others) so I'll give it a try.

    Neville

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