In today’s world, there are multiple users who were facing Email Forensics Challenges. There are a lot of people who used to get a lot of unwanted emails, which can create issues for them. It is necessary to understand which email is genuine and which is not. And for this one must have knowledge about Email Forensics.
What is Email Forensics?
Email forensics plays a very crucial role in the investigation as most of the communication in the present era relies on emails only. Email is always a major component of any cyber investigation. They are always convenient for sending messages as well as documents. It has some negative effects as well. Criminals may leak important information about their company by using emails.
Hence, the role of emails in digital forensics has been level up in recent times. In digital forensics, emails are considered as crucial evidence and Email Header Analysis has become important to collect evidence during the forensic process.
Challenges Faced by Investigators in Email Forensics
There are many challenges faced by investigators. Some of the common challenges are listed here:
- Issue of Fake Emails
Using of fake emails is the biggest issue nowadays. They are created by manipulating and scripting the header information. Most of the time criminals also use temporary email, there’s a service that allows a registered user to receive an email at a temporary address that expires after a certain time period.
- Spoofing Issue
Spoofing is another challenge faced by investigators. Here criminals used to present an email as someone else’s. So, in this case machine will receive both IP addresses i.e., fake IP addresses and Original IP addresses as well.
- Re-emailing by Anonymous Person
The concept of re – emailing means Email server strips identifying information from the email message before forwarding it further. This is another big challenge for the email investigations.
What are the Techniques to Overcome Email Forensics Challenges?
As mentioned above Email Forensics is the study of the source and content of an email as evidence to identify its actual sender and recipient of message. It also identifies some other information such as the date/time of transmission and intention of the sender. Users can follow some techniques to overcome the challenges:
1. Email Header Analysis Technique
Email header’s part contains important information including the name of the sender and receiver, the path (servers and other devices) through which the message has crossed, etc. Some of the important email header fields are mention below. The vital details in email headers can help investigators and forensics experts in the email investigation.
For instance, the Delivered-To field contains the email address of the recipient and the Received-By field contains the last visited SMTP server’s IP address, its SMTP ID. And the date and time at which the email is receive. Likewise, the Received: from the field may provide key details like IP address of sender and hostname. Such information can be instrumental in identifying the culprit and collecting the evidence.
2. Email Server Investigations
For locating the source of an email, they are often investigate. If an email is deleted from the client application, sender’s or receivers, then related ISP or Proxy servers are scan. They usually save copies of emails after their delivery. Servers also maintain logs that can be analyze to identify the address of the computer from which the email has been sent.
It’s worth noting that HTTP and SMTP logs are archived frequently by large ISPs. If a log is archived then tracing relevant emails can take a lot of time and effort. As it requires decompressing and extraction techniques. So, it’s best to examine the logs as soon as possible lest they are archive.
3. Network Devices Investigations
In most cases, logs of servers aren’t available. There can be multiple reasons behind this such as servers aren’t configure to maintain logs. Or when an ISP refuses to share the log files. So, in these cases, investigators can refer to the logs maintained by network devices such as routers, firewalls, and switches to trace the source of the email message.
4. Sender Mailer Fingerprints
X-headers are the email headers that have been adding to the email messages along with standard headers like Subject and To. Investigators add this for spam filter information, authentication results, etc. It can use to identify the software that’s handling the email at the client. It can also be use to find the original sender, i.e., IP address of the sender’s computer.
These are some techniques that have been use by investigators to get over the Email Forensic Challenges. But if the user doesn’t want to go with any of these techniques, they can consult with the most preferred Digital Forensic Expert Anuraag Singh.
He is Cyber Expert of India who is serving in the field of IT, Cyber Expert, and Digital Forensics for the last 21 years. He has worked with top most law enforcement agencies. Also, appreciated by top government Institutions. For seeking professional help Anuraag Singh is the best and smart choice. He was also awarded by the Police officials and the government, for his great efforts and contribution to stop Cybercrime in India.
It is very important for users to be aware of cybercrimes. So, for this, it is important to get the knowledge from the best person.
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