Another email issue is forgery, or message spoofing, due to the lack of sender authentication in vanilla (as opposed to PGP or S/MIME) email. If youve gotten spam, youve probably seen forged email. By forged, we mean email whose From: information along with other possible identifiable information is deliberately incorrect. Email can be forged for a variety of reasons, such as not wanting replies (senders of make money fast pleas generally dont want tens of thousands of replies telling them to bug off, in their personal mailboxes), not wanting their identity to be known (in the case of someone who wants to communicate anonymously, just to protect their privacy), or wanting to pretend to be someone else (like the virus email which masquerades as an email from Microsoft Security). How do they do it?
Sometimes, its as simple as changing the Name field in their mail program, but leaving the email address as is. (Not very effective, but it is occasionally done, particularly when someone is using a throwaway Hotmail or ISP account to send a large volume of junk mail, and doesnt care how many replies the sending account receives.) At other times, users take advantage of a feature of the SMTP protocol you can claim to be anyone, without having to prove to the mail server that you are that person, by manually issuing commands to the SMTP server (or using a program designed to issue these commands for you, supplying whatever identifying information you provide it).
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