Free «Learning about E-mail Attacks» Essay Sample

E-mail messages can be intercepted at any step on its way from the sender to the recipient. When an e-mail is being sent, it is kept on two servers; the sender ISP mail server and the recipient ISP mail server. The sender’s server delivers the message to the recipient’s server, however, if the recipient’s server is not available at the moment, the message is delivered to the immediate server which is referred to as MX relay host. Therefore when the message is in the MX host, it can draw the attention of any other person who has an access to a server and therefore unscrupulous people can easily access it. The other way that e-mails can be intercepted is by physical access to the computer system, which is not limited to the users.

The vulnerable point during e-mail travel is in the sender’s ISP where all the information is passed. This is because it is not possible to predict where the data passes after it leaves the sender. Therefore those wanting to illegally access another person’s information can monitor his or her ISP traffic to see the movements.

The solution to this interception is to use traffic encryption on all the data that is sent. Encryption is the process of converting data to a form called ciphertext which cannot be understood by unauthorized people. Below is a diagram of movement of encrypted data.

Therefore all the information that leavers the sender’s computer through the tunneling server will be encrypted. This information will however reach the destination server in an encrypted form. This method works even for e-mails that are being sent to recipients outside the sender’s country. This service also ensures IP address anonymity which will ensure that any unauthorized person will not be able to know the details of the sender.


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