Abusive Emails

Nearly all of the email I get from this web site are either complimentary or are from people with questions relating to what I have written, “How do I?” or “Do you have?” variety, which I both like and am happy to answer. A thank you now and again would be nice : ) However this is spoilt be a select few who seem to think its okay to send abusive emails. Rude, offensive and deflamitory comments about either this site, me or what I have written.

You wouldn’t expect to get away with verbally abusing somebody in real life without some form of reaction, probably a punch in the face, so why do you think you can get away with it via email.

Here’s the bottom line, I have written this stuff to help, inform and amuse. I didn’t ask you to come into my site you chose to enter and read the information within.

It seems that for some people the right of free speech is something that nobody should have except them!

It also seems a section of society think its okay to send abusive emails to others. Do they honestly think that Email is anonymous, even if they use some service such as Hotmail.

Its not!

The reason I am writing this is that I have had several emails in the past few months which have been, how shall we say, abusive and unsavoury. Both to me and about some of the things I have written.

If these people had any balls or forethought then they would have tried to give me their point of view rather than just putting “Your a f**king d*ck, motorbikes rule!”. However these people have used an email address which was untraceable or so they thought. This has prompted me to do a bit of detective work to find out who these offending people are.

This is how easy it is to find somebody who has sent you abusive email on the internet and deal with them.

First off, in Outlook Express, click on the email once so it is highlighted then right click and select properties. If your using full blown Outlook then Right click and select options.

You should end up with the properties box, as in figure 1, click details to show email details as in figure 2.


Email Properties Email Properties
Fig. 1 Fig. 2


Okay, so the above are a bit small but what you should get if you click message source is something like the text below.

Received: From f79.sea2.hotmail.com [] by mailserver08.fasthosts.co.uk
(Matrix SMTP Mail Server v(1.3)) ID=12417498-DD55-4E04-8E63-AD0C5772E5DD ; Fri, 14 Nov 2002 11:06:26 +0000
Received: from mail pickup service by hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
Fri, 14 Nov 2002 03:04:21 -0800
Received: from by sea2fd.sea2.hotmail.msn.com with HTTP;
Fri, 14 Nov 2002 11:04:21 GMT
X-Originating-IP: []
From: “32423_xxxx” <32423_xxxx@hotmail.com>
To: mykp@mykp.co.uk
Subject: You Suck
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2002 11:04:21 +0000
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
Message-ID: <f79eck50mu5y6qnoztx00025ce5@hotmail.com>
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 14 Nov 2002 11:04:21.0369 (UTC) FILETIME=[D3927690:01C2D418]
X-RCPT-TO: <mykp@mykp.co.uk>

Your a f**king d**k, you motorbike hating son of a bitch.

If I ever see you, Im gonna run you over with my motorbike.

So Mr Idiot has left us a vital clue to his identity in his email. His computers IP address, which is assigned by his Internet Service provider (ISP), on logging on to the internet. This is: – X-Originating-IP: []

So, all I have to do is find out who owns this IP address. Or which ISP uses this address.

To do this all we have to do is go to a service such as:

IP Who is Lookup : http://www.ip-adress.com/whois/
(I prefer this website as it gives the Abuse emails for that domain as well)

or Sam Spade: http://www.samspade.org, (its a find it all internet page) then use the IP Whois tool on the front page of the site. This tells us that the IP address is owned by Tiscali.

Now, most ISP do not take kindly to users sending such messages whilst using their services as this can leave them open to legal procedures even though they haven´t sent the message. So, in the Sam Spade – Whois they will usually be an email address for abuse or spamming reporting. So send a copy of the Email Properties, as shown above, Copy and paste the message details, don´t forward it, to the abuse email address.

This is usually abuse@<domain name>, and this will allow the company to find out who was logged on and using this IP address at the time that the email was sent. Nearly all ISP keep records of who is logged on and which IP address they have at the time they where using their service. Most track your actions with something called a Mac Address which is unique to your computers network card, ADSL or Cable modem. So at best they would know which device the message was sent via.

So even if you think your anonymous, think again as ISP track their users so they are not left open to litigation or legal recourse in the future.

So, now the ISP knows which user, via Mac Address, was logged on at this time, they will even know the user details such as Name, address, etc… If not they will know what telephone number dailed their servers. At worst they will know which exchange routed the call and the users machine name.

As nearly all ISPs don’t take kindly to this kind of abuse they will normally immediately inform the user that they have been noted as email abusing or cancel the abusers contract or account with themselves. However, depending on the level of abuse or the nature of the messages which where reported and the length of time the abuse has been going on, they will either take legal action or they will pass these details over to the police.

So if you think you can send annoymous emails to people, with abusive comments in them and get away with it then think again. I always, always report abusive emails to the relivant companies as I wouldn’t put up with it in real life so why should I put up with it in my email box and why should you?

If you get abusive emails then follow the above procedure.

If you send abusive emails to me then I will put your name inlights at the bottom of this page and I will inform your ISP, with a copy of your email as sent to me. I keep logs of all the visitors to my site which contain the IP address, page viewed, duration of stay and all requests from the page comments and contact me page are logged.

As with anything on the internet your email address once use can be publically available, used, purchase, sold or passed onto less savoury people in the world to which they will send you Spam email.

If you get a lot of Spam and dont want to change youre email address then there are things you can do. First off contact your email provider and ask them if they have any kind of Spam filters in place which you can configure. My Email provider has a control panel which I can access for my mailbox which has spam controls which can be set at various levels of filtering and can also catch and bounce emails containing specific words or from specific email addresses, even wildcards *@gmail.com. However this is a service I pay yearly for.

If you dont have access to any spam tools before the emails are downloaded then might I suggest you get hold of a copy of Spambayes, its a free anti-spam tool for most programs and works brilliantly. It learns from the spam it gets given and can even be told a certain email is spam and it will learn so the next time it gets a similair email it checks to see if its spam. If something is marked as spam by Spambayes then you can unmark it as not spam and it will remember. Really good piece of software.

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