Email 'Message-IDs' helpful for forensic analysis?
School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science / Centre for Security Research
Finding the source of spoofed email is a challenging task for forensic investigators. Header of an email has several fields that can be used for investigation. An investigator can easily understand the evidences embedded within most of the header fields of an email, except the message-id field. Therefore, there is a need to understand how message-ids are constructed and what useful information can be recovered from them. The immediate aim of the analysis is to find the message-id construction mechanism of ‘Sendmail’ mail transfer agent (MTA) version 8.14 and how the findings can be used successfully in forensic analysis. Source code of the ‘Sendmail’ MTA is made use of during analysis. This analysis will uncover several information that will help to find email source and validate other email header fields also. The drawbacks in message-id based forensic analysis also discussed here.