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E-mail headers

This tip describes e-mail header security procedures.

E-mail headers, as a topic for Internet security, aren't as exciting as an exploit or the latest Internet worm, but learning how to quickly determine the authenticity of e-mail is important -- especially if someone is abusing an open SMTP relay on your network.

I remember when forging e-mail was unthinkable. Now, I get so many forged e-mails that I hardly consider any subject to be valid unless I know the sender personally, with the exception of forged e-mails that claim to have come from my own e-mail account. There's nothing that can stop people from manipulating e-mail headers, and they're generally not verifiable unless you understand how to read them.

While e-mail headers show the path the message took in reverse order, this doesn't conclusively identify the e-mail as genuine and sourced from the specified sender. It's no surprise that Klez and thousands of other e-mail plagues continue to eat bandwidth and infest the Internet.

Every e-mail program that I've seen can display message headers. How you view the headers will depend on the program that you use.

Lotus mail client does not offer a direct way of viewing the e-mail header. But what I am about to tell you is quite the opposite of what has been mentioned above. You can tweak your e-mail server to stop sending info about your e-mail server address as well the client version you used when sending an e-mail. How is that possible? Well follow my directions and in a minute you will master the trick.

Open your Domino Administrator and head towards the Configuration Tab. Then go down to the messaging view and then Configurations. Select the name of the server you want to apply the setting and move to the MIME, Advanced, and Advanced Outbound Message Options. Look for the following field "Notes fields to be removed from headers:" Feed in the following words "$MIMETrack" "$Mailer" with a carriage return between each one.

Save and close the document. Restart the SMTP service, and try to send an e-mail to Hotmail or Yahoo and check out the charm.

If you are using a smart host to forward your e-mails then the smart host info will not be removed, whereas the info about your mail server as well as the client used will not appear at all.


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