Email tracing

“The orgin and the path of an email can be traced by studying the header block of the email. Information such as the IP address contained within the header block can be used to trace the email.”

  E-mail tracking is a technique which can be used to track the origin and the path of an email. An email essentially consists of the two parts –  the header and the body. The information contained within the header can give data  regarding the origin of the email. An email which is send first moves from the senders machine to his mail server from which it moves to the receivers mail server and subsequently to the receivers computer. And as the email is moved from one server to the other server, extra information gets added the header of the email. Thus by studying the header of the email, it is possible to understand the origin and the path followed by the email. IP address is one of the important information that is included within the header block which is in the form of digits separated by dots.
Every computer which is connected to the internet has an unique IP adress and hence by knowing the IP address it is possible to identify the computer used to send the email.
Once the IP address is known, the ISP(Internet Service Provider) which owns the IP address can be traced. The ISP usually has the list of who(customers) has which IP address.  Thus by contacting the ISP the details of the customer who uses a particular IP address can be traced.

References


[1] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sci-tech-and-agri/email-tracing/article3225516.ece [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_tracking