Penn Computing

Penn Computing

Computing Menu Computing A-Z
Computing Home Information Systems & Computing Penn

 

Friday, July 25, 2014

 
  New Resources
Travel Tips for Data Security
Free Security/Privacy Training Resources
Penn+Box
Two-step verification
Combating Malware
SafeDNS
Phishing Archive
Cloud Computing and Data Outsourcing
Best Practices for Applications with Confidential University Data
 
  Security "Greatest Hits"
Managing Passwords
E-mail Harassment & Forgery
Hoaxes, frauds & scams
Spam
Phishing
Wireless Networking
Encryption & digital signatures
 
  Best Practices
Secure desktop computing
Secure servers
Secure data deletion
Securing printers
Tips for safe computing
Computing policies
 
  More in-depth information for
Local support providers
System administrators
 
  Security initiatives
Critical host compliance
Authentication & authorization
Penn Security & Privacy Assessment (SPIA)
Security Liaisons (Restricted Access)
Secure Share
Secure Space
Vulnerability Scanner
 
  Related links
Electronic privacy
PennKey
Viruses
Worms, trojans, backdoors

One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
You can subscribe via Email or RSS.


Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box


Whats popular?

   home computing    phishing    wireless    www    social networking    identity theft    email    documents    passwords    security    mobile devices        keyloggers    virus    privacy    software    hackers    SSNs

Tagged with spam , email

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - Almanac Vol. 55, No. 21

E-mail Headers: Getting the Full Story

Whether it's common spam or messages that are actually threatening or disturbing, Penn Information Security is often asked about how to identify the sources and senders of troublesome e-mail. Because e-mail is so easily forged, it's usually the case that conclusive identification of who and where a "bogus" message came from is not possible. There are instances, though, where the information contained in the message headers can indicate or strongly suggest the source. Similar to the information found on the envelope in which a postal letter is sent (address, return address, postmark), e-mail message headers are sort of an "electronic envelope" that may contain literally dozens of bits of data about how the message was sent.

Most ordinary e-mail users are familiar with only a handful of these headers — "To:," "From:," "Cc:," "Subject:," "Reply-To: — because most e-mail programs consider these the only ones the user is really interested in and "helpfully" hides the rest from view under normal circumstances. With few exceptions, though, modern e-mail programs also provide an option to display the full headers for inspection. Like the "From:" header, many of these hidden headers can be forged or manipulated, but others are very difficult to fake. For example, each message will have a series of "Received:" headers which detail the mail servers through which the message travelled, and these are extremely difficult to forge. So, if you receive what looks like a message "From: upenn team," but the headers indicate the sending server is from a ".ru" (Russia) or ".cn" (China) domain, you can be pretty confident it's not really from a Penn source.

If you're using Outlook, here's how to display the full message headers:

  1. Open the message in its own window by double-clicking the message.
  2. Select View-> Options.
  3. In the Internet Headers window, you’ll see the full headers.

For how to do this with other e-mail programs, the spam reporting service SpamCop has a very useful page at www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/19.html. A final note: If you are ever asked to provide a suspicious or troubling e-mail message with full headers to authorities for investigation, simply using the "Forward" button will not suffice, because your server will simply replace the original headers with its own. In this instance, display the full headers along with the message body, cut-and-paste all of it into a new message and send that.

top

Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
Comments & Questions


Penn Computing University of Pennsylvania
Information Systems and Computing, University of Pennsylvania