Anatomy of an Email Header and How to Send Anonymous Emails

Posted In Web - By robertalai On Monday, August 29th, 2011 With 1 Comment

When you send an email, it is never anonymous until when you make it anonymous. And making it so is not easy fort the majority of the email users. Your IP address as well as the address of every server the email hops on are recorded and hidden in the header. The headers will actually make it easy to locate who sent the particular email.

For those using dongles, you periodically get assigned IP addresses by the DHCP and in this case the Domain Name Server (DNS) will be able to identify where you are sending the email from and your ISP. You can easily check any email header using these instructions.

You can basically analyse a person using the email they sent you. You can see from  which browser and software they sent the email and if they are even having updated security patches. If a person sends you and email but does not have the latest security software installed, you can send them botnets and key loggers and just a single mistake of them opening the file would make it easy for you to exploit their systems.

So if you are thinking of sending your boss veiled threats or leaking IIEC and other government information like that busted worker did, think again. The moment the police becomes involved and they contract the services of forensic experts, you will be easily nailed. It is simply taking your email header and using email tracing programs on the internet which are mostly free and voila! you will be toast.

You don’t believe that? Why not try this link. Just scroll down and paste the whole email header onto the box and click on “Trace Email Sender“. You will even see the Google Map of where the sender might be. And when you user the IP address lookup websites, you would get an idea of who sent you the email.

Sending an Anonymous Email

If you want to send anonymous emails to Wikileaks, KHRC, KACC (if at all they will act on it) or Transparency International, try a website like www.publicproxyservers.com to select a suitable proxy. Sort the proxy servers by country so that you can choose your assumed country. You should choose the proxy with the highest rating as it will be the first hop and not your own.

You can then enter your webmail address (use this service with webmail only). The site might refuse a proxy connection so just choose another. It is also important that you connect to your webmail service using the proxy servers because the webmail servers collect your IP address. One simply mistake and your safety would be so compromised.

There are services which needs you to supply a legitimate email address to set up an account. For the purpose of anonymity, use services like www.guerrillamail.com to set up a disposable email account. You are set that way.

What do you think.

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About - Robert is an African Tech Blogger, Critic, Net Evangelist, Speaker, Mentor for Young Boys and Girls, Editor @TechMtaa and likes to Provide Sanitary Towels To Poor Women through the DishAPad Initiative

  • Bob

    Just tried the find-ip-address site for tracing e-mails. Used the headers for a person in S Africa who used a gmail address and it showed the origin as Atlanta, GA USA from Earthlink. The second was a person in Virginia USA who uses a cox.net address and it showed him as being in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA. So, it seems to me that the usefulness of that particular tool is very limited.