When you send an email, the email is most likely traceable because the email server automatically embeds the sender IP address into the headers. The email headers are normally hidden and not revealed by default. To view the email headers in Gmail, click the down arrow next to Reply icon and select Show Original. A new window will open showing the message headers. Most of the popular email service offered for free such as Hotmail and Yahoo shows the sender IP address in headers but weirdly not for Gmail.
I recently needed to use a SMTP that does not include the sender IP address and after looking around, I found 7 companies that offers secure anonymous email service. Prices below are taken from a 1 year subscription package that allows SMTP usage. I wanted to sign up again but for some reason their payment processor WorldPay kept on declining my credit card. So I ended up with Hushmail. The current IP address mapped to raymond.
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Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. Example : I have a contact form where the user can input their email, would this be assigned to sender, from or return-path? The Sender header is used to identify in the message who submitted it.
This is usually the same as the From header, which is who the message is from.
However, it can differ in some cases where a mail agent is sending messages on behalf of someone else. The Return-Path header is used to indicate to the recipient or receiving MTA where non-delivery receipts are to be sent. For example, take a server that allows users to send mail from a web page. So, sender yourcompany. The server then sends the message to its recipient with From set to sender yourcompany.
The actual SMTP submission uses different credentials, something like mailagent mywebmail. So, the sender header is set to mailagent mywebmail. In this case, if the message cannot be sent, it's probably better for the agent to receive the non-delivery report, and so Return-Path would also be set to mailagent mywebmail.
If you are doing just that, a form submission to send e-mail, then this is probably a direct parallel with how you'd set the headers. A minor update to this: a sender should never set the Return-Path: header.
There's no such thing as a Return-Path: header for a message in transit. That header is set by the MTA that makes final delivery, and is generally set to the value of the From unless the local system needs some kind of quirky routing. It's a common misunderstanding because users rarely see an email without a Return-Path: header in their mailboxes.
This is because they always see delivered messages, but an MTA should never see a Return-Path: header on a message in transit. How are we doing? Please help us improve Stack Overflow.
Take our short survey. Learn more. What's the difference between Sender, From and Return-Path? Ask Question. Asked 9 years, 4 months ago. Active 2 years, 5 months ago. Viewed k times. What's the difference between an email Sender, From and Return-Path value? I had a quick search on the StackOverflow and couldn't find anything useful.
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Our web application sends email messages to people when someone posts new content. Both sender and recipient have opted into receiving email messages from our application. When preparing such a message, we set the following SMTP headers:. We chose to use the author's email address in the FROM header in an attempt to provide the best experience for the recipient; when they see the message in their mail client, the author is clear. To avoid the appearance of spoofing, we added the SENDER header with our own company email address to make it clear that we sent the message on the author's behalf.
After reading RFCs andthis seems to be an intended use of the sender header. Most receiving mail servers seem to handle this well; the email message is delivered normally assuming the recipient mailbox exists, is not over quota, etc. However, when sending a message FROM an address in a domain TO an address in the same domain, some receiving domains reject the messages with a response like:. I think this means the receiving server only saw that the FROM header address was in its own domain, and that the message originated from a server it didn't consider authorized to send messages for that domain.
But this list requires maintenance. Is there a better way to achieve the desired experience? We'd like to be a "good citizen" of the net, and all parties involved -- senders and recipients -- want to participate and receive these messages.
You're looking at the wrong things. Those are the message headers. You should be looking at the SMTP envelope. How the envelope is specified depends from how, exactly, your application is submitting mail to the mail system. On many systems the envelope is specified by command-line arguments to the mail submission utility program.
Depending from exactly when in the protocol transaction it decides to issue that response, the SMTP Relay server may not have even seen the message headers at all. It appears to be complaining about the recipient part of the envelope. But it may be deferring validation of the envelope sender until specification of the first recipient, so it may be complaining about the sender. Note that the envelope sender is where delivery status messages are sent, and you'll not want to have those directed to random people around the world.
Aside from the fact that many people don't like this, it makes no sense for delivery status messages for your mail to be returned to anyone but you. Specify yourself as the envelope sender. It is wrong to require MX resource records, by the way. I might be wrong, but the most likely cause of the above error, especially in the case of Postini, is that the domains where you are getting rejected have a strict SPF policy.
Most mail servers with SPF checking will be checking just the From: header, they won't care about the Sender header. You should get back something like:.
The important part is the -all. This means that the domain owner has stated that they'll only ever send email from the servers that act as their mail servers, all other mail will be rejected. Fortunately, if this is the case, you can actively check before sending out the email!
If there is a strict policy in place, add the domain to your list.
There's no shortage of libraries for all languages that can do SPF checks. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered.Discussion in ' Email Discussions ' started by popowichNov 19, Log in or Sign up. Email Questions.
SMTP Envelope vs. Joined: Aug 12, Messages: 8, Likes Received: Hello, Do you want to know why an email can be From: you when you didn't send it? Do you want to know why you can receive an email that isn't To: you? Do you want to know how BCC works?
View internet message headers in Outlook
The following is part of a sanitized manual smtp email conversation between me and an smtp relay: helo example. The envelope can have multiple recipients. This is also part of how BCC's works.
One more more envelope rcpt to commands in the background that are not in the Header. The envelope is what determines where an email is sent. The header To: From: Subject: Date: are all optional data. This is the information that you see in your mail program. The data in the header does not need to match the data in the envelope. The above is what was received at my "popowich RealDomain.
As you can see, the SMTP relay that was used to send the email got it to the right place, even though the header listed different fake information. Theresa should also have received the email at her "theresa RealDomain. My email program displays the header information which is the To: and From: that I see. This is why spammers can send email From: your domain name or fake domain names. This is how BCC works and why you are able to conceal the receipents of an email, if you choose to.
This is why an email can be missing a To: line, or other header information, and still get to you. Joined: Jun 8, Messages: 1 Likes Received: 0. Hi, I have a question on that: If I receive some email and then I click on the reply button I can see the target recipient mail address.
In other words, if I receive a fake mail, can I prove this by this method? Thanks Julio.What do e-mail headers have to do with security, or more pointedly, why a column about e-mail headers? The short answer is, "because some of you asked for it.
For example, one subscriber wrote, "What are the different e-mail headers? Some are obvious, but others are not like ETRN. Just as postal mail has an envelope and, inside the envelope, a letter, so does e-mail.How to analyze headers using MXtoolbox com
The envelope will have address information on it, such as the sender, a list of recipients, and who should get errors if something goes wrong or right, such as your Firebox rejecting an attempt to relay e-mail for a "spammer". Headers are "inside" the envelope, and considered part of the message. Just like the letter in the envelope of postal mail, e-mail messages often have headers with originator sender and destination recipient information, and a date.
There are headers that contain what RFC and call "trace fields," and headers that have identification information as well as headers labeled "informational" the Subject: header, for example.
Received: from [ Note, that this message is "from" me, but was sent by my administrative assistant, "admin. As discussed last month, some of these headers give out too much information. Received: lines, which contain trace fields as does the Return-Path: headerare useful to system administrators for tracing e-mail and debugging problems.
They also may be used in intelligence gathering by would-be attackers. The Error-to: line indicates where error messages should be sent. In the absence of this line, they go to the Sender:, and absent that, the From: address. No standard header field will ever begin with the characters "X-", so application developers are free to use them for their own purposes. While, common nowadays, X-Sender: and X-Mailer: are not part of the standard.
In fact, any header not expressly defined in the RFC, is allowed and ignored by most e-mail systems. So, we could have an e-mail message that head headers such as :.
Envelope vs Header FROM
X-Sender: avolio mail. Recall, last month I recommended removing extraneous headers that might leak information, such as the mail client being used revealed in the above example. HELO -- a start of conversation, identifying the connecting client machine. This is used only in testing. MAIL -- the indication that I am starting to send a message. On the MAIL command the client puts the sender information. This is envelope information, not header information.
RCPT -- There can be many of these related to the transfer of a single message. This line specifies the recipients, and this also is envelope information. DATA -- indicates I am ready to send the message, header lines, body, attachments, and all. RSET -- abort the current e-mail transaction resetbut stay connected for more to come. So far, there is nothing here we would want to worry about, from a firewall viewpoint.
But, remember from last month, there are more. In the original RFC two other commands were defined:.The fields in this header can help provide administrators with information about the message and about how it was processed.
The fields in the X-Microsoft-Antispam header provide additional information about bulk mail and phishing. In addition to these two headers, Exchange Online Protection also inserts email authentication results for each message it processes in the Authentication-results header. For information about how to view an email message header in various email clients, see View internet message headers in Outlook.
You can copy and paste the contents of a message header into the Message Analyzer tool. This tool helps parse headers and put them into a more readable format.
After accessing the message header information, search for X-Forefront-Antispam-Report and then look for these fields. Other fields in this header are used exclusively by the Microsoft anti-spam team for diagnostic purposes. The following table describes useful fields in the X-Microsoft-Antispam message header. The following syntax examples show a portion of the text "stamp" that Office applies to the message header for each email that undergoes an email authentication check when it is received by our mail servers.
The stamp is added to the Authentication-Results header. You may also leave feedback directly on GitHub. Skip to main content. Exit focus mode. Tip You can copy and paste the contents of a message header into the Message Analyzer tool.
Is this page helpful? Yes No. Any additional feedback? Skip Submit. Send feedback about This product This page. This page. Submit feedback. There are no open issues. View on GitHub. AMS: This header includes cryptographic signatures of the message.Mail servers and other message transfer agents use SMTP to send and receive mail messages.
Mail may use non-standard protocols internally, but all use SMTP when sending to or receiving email from outside their own systems. User-level email clients typically use SMTP only for sending messages to a mail server for relaying, and typically submit outgoing email to the mail server on port or as per RFC Various forms of one-to-one electronic messaging were used in the s.
Users communicated using systems developed for specific mainframe computers. As more computers were interconnected, especially in the U. SMTP grew out of these standards developed during the s. The SMTP standard was developed around the same time as Useneta one to many communication network with some similarities.
SMTP became widely used in the early s. At the time, it was a complement to Unix to Unix Copy Program UUCP mail, which was better suited for handling email transfers between machines that were intermittently connected. SMTP, on the other hand, works best when both the sending and receiving machines are connected to the network all the time. Both use a store and forward mechanism and are examples of push technology.
Though Usenet's newsgroups are still propagated with UUCP between servers,  UUCP as a mail transport has virtually disappeared  along with the " bang paths " it used as message routing headers. Sendmailreleased with 4. Originally, SMTP servers were typically internal to an organization, receiving mail for the organization from the outsideand relaying messages from the organization to the outside. But as time went on, SMTP servers mail transfer agentsin practice, were expanding their roles to become message submission agents for Mail user agentssome of which were now relaying mail from the outside of an organization.
This issue, a consequence of the rapid expansion and popularity of the World Wide Webmeant that SMTP had to include specific rules and methods for relaying mail and authenticating users to prevent abuses such as relaying of unsolicited email spam. This behavior is helpful when the message being fixed is an initial submission, but dangerous and harmful when the message originated elsewhere and is being relayed.
Cleanly separating mail into submission and relay was seen as a way to permit and encourage rewriting submissions while prohibiting rewriting relay.
As spam became more prevalent, it was also seen as a way to provide authorization for mail being sent out from an organization, as well as traceability.