Tracing IP addresses

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jerseygirl

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I have a quick question about tracing where an email was sent from. Is it possible to tell exactly where an email was sent from (one specific location, not a general area)? I know each computer has its own IP address, but does that mean the COMPUTER's address or the CONNECTION's address?

For example, if I take my laptop to CA from NJ, can someone tell the difference in an email sent from there as opposed to one sent from my house?

TIA for any advice here!! :confused:
 
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AIUI, the recipient will only be able to see the IP address of the sending mail-server. Switch on the header info in a received email to take a look. (And much of it is spoofable which is why viruses cause so much mayhem).

To trace it you'd have to have access to the sending mailserver's logs to see where it came from - and the detail would depend on what it has been set to log. If you were using a DHCP dial-up, then you'd have another log on another machine to go through. It is common in the UK for a dial-up line's caller-ID to be logged, just in case illegal activities need to be traced.

(In the movies of course all this takes seconds and plots the source on a zoomable map. I don't think so. )
 

jerseygirl

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Thanks Dave!

I suppose there are programs/resources available to trace the numbers to specific areas, but it would take some digging anyway.

I appreciate the response, cheers.
 

bearone2

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did someone send you something questionable?

go to work for nsa, they have the best toys.
 
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jerseygirl said:
Thanks Dave!
I suppose there are programs/resources available to trace the numbers to specific areas, but it would take some digging anyway.
I appreciate the response, cheers.

Try http://www.samspade.org/ for tracking down IP addresses.

Try http://www.spamcop.net/ for unravelling spoofed addresses in the header (copy in your email for reporting as spam, switch on technical details and it does all the hard work for you... you can then NOT report it... you might have to register with them though)
 
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Dave_W said:
AIUI, the recipient will only be able to see the IP address of the sending mail-server.
That's not always entirely true. Most email headers do show the IP addres of the sending email server, but also the originating IP address (the IP address in use by the sender's computer).

Sometimes this can be entertaining because the headers will show that person's LAN IP and not his WAN IP.

Some traceroute software will show approximately where in the world a given IP block is located. Say your IP address was 192.168.120.14 and your internet provider was FastNotRealISP.com. FastNotRealISP.com owns a chuck of IP addresses that is 'leases' out to it's users. The location of 'your' IP address would likely be the mailing address for FastNotRealISP.com or some address under the control of FastNotRealISP.com -- not your residence.

It's useful insofar as you can know that spammer lives in Southern Utah as opposed to Northern Utah or somesuch.


http://samspade.org provides the address of the IP block owner on IP lookup.

If you want a spiffy graphical windows program try: 3D Traceroute
http://www.hlembke.de/prod/3dtraceroutepro/

it's "globus trace" feature might interest you



I hope this helps
 
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codecfears said:
but also the originating IP address (the IP address in use by the sender's computer).
I've just had a look at a sample - most of the ones I looked at DON'T have the sender's IP, but - you are right, SOME do - seems to depend on the ISP and how they have their systems configured.

So the complete answer is "it depends" ! :)
 

jerseygirl

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Wow, this is good stuff. I am going to check out these links ASAP. I REALLY appreciate it, guys!

It's not about spam, actually; I'm trying to catch someone in a lie about where they were when they sent an email.
 
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