email games - need help!
I have a friend who has recently hit upon a way to send emails which appear to be from just about anyone he desires; in other words he can customize the From and Reply-To fields (as well as everything else, but these two are the current main concern) in the email. I am sure this is not difficult, but as I have little to do with email (all I ever use is hotmail and outlook), I really have no idea how it is set up, or how I could pull this off.
I wish to learn how to do this because this is the one and only area he has learned something which I do not yet know of, and am loathe to admit to him this fact. I am wondering if anyone could give me the basics of how this is done, and what is needed to do it; or if the information is already readily available, simply point me to an FAQ or a tutorial.
Thank you in advance!
go to php.net and look at the mail() function, or go and do a search on sendmail (AKA the buggiest daemon in the world) that should do fine. but one curious thing id that ma friend of mine made a mailer on a fre hosting site but with the message came the header
reort abuse to: email@example.com
so dont try and make a combination of mail() and for llops or you may get banned for spam!
Another way is if you manually make the email up in notepad. You can type up your own headers that say its from whomever and all that.
Lets say you make it look like it is from Bill Gates (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you send it to someone. It is easily figured out who actually sent the message by looking at the Internet Headers. They would list all email servers the message passed through including IPs and the orgin server. And you could just punch in the source IP into a program like NeoTrace and it would tell you where physically the message came from.
Thank you both for your help!
I don't quite understand the email headers and/or internet headers discussed at php.net or in OracleGuy's reply, would it be possible to get a little more info on that?
Also, OracleGuy, if I were to make an email with notepad and create the headers in that manner, how would I then send it?
Lastly, my friend seems to be able to receive replies to these strange email addresses; so it may be that he is actually creating new email addresses for this little game of his; is that something which is realistically accomplishable from a home-computer which is being used as a server?
He is recieving replies because he has the from field from some dummy addy while the reply-to field which when left blank just defaults to the from infomarion, has his email in it so when people reply it gets diverted to him.
Oh and on sending notepad emails, you would just dump them into your mail servers physical send folder on the hard drive.
OracleGuy, thanks for trying, but I think I may be a bit too thick in this area, I don't know quite what you meant by dumping the email into the mail servers physical send folder; as I said all I have ever used is hotmail and outlook.
As to the reply-to field, my hotmail account displays the reply to field as well as the from field, and so far all of his emails have had them match, yet he has received many of my replies...would there be any way to do this without actually creating a new email account?
As a reference, one off the email addresses he used and I replied to was "From: DumDum <email@example.com>" and "ReplyTo: firstname.lastname@example.org" - though this was weeks ago and I think it no longer works.
The notepad method I speak of requires that you have your own mail server setup, which isn't that hard to accomplish.
you can hide your IP, when you use telnet to connect to sendmail through a wingate actually (i am pretty certain anyway)
Okay, I know this is a lot to ask, so I won't be surprised or offended if I get no response to it, but I learned long ago you never get anything unless you try for it, so...
Could someone treat me like a complete idiot (which I am sure I seem to be thus far, in any case), and walk me through what I need to do step by step; from setting up a mail server on my machine (I can use Win98, Win2k, or WinXP) all the way through what the headers are and how I need to format them?
Also, I am not as brainless as I might have come off so far (just 100% new to the whole concept of how email actually works, as I have never bothered to learn until now), so if anyone would care to also detail the steps of something more advanced (such as hiding your IP, by using telnet to connect to sendmail through a wingate, as whackaxe mentioned), I would appreciate that greatly as well!