In a bid to empower citizens against senders of malicious e-mail messages, the Centre For Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) has developed an e-mail tracing facility that would be made available to the public on the Internet. The "easy to use" software tool is designed to benefit individuals, particularly women, who are vulnerable to abusive and obscene e-mails often sent by miscreants seeking to exploit the relative anonymity of the Internet.
CDAC's Technical Resource Centre for Cyber Forensics had developed the original version of the `E-Mail Tracer' for law enforcement agencies in the country. The CDAC Executive Director, Rajan T. Joseph, said a version of the same tool is being placed in the public domain to help citizens track senders of threatening, abusive, obscene and defamatory e-mails. He said the tool was meant as a first line of defence for citizens against e-mail harassment.
B. Ramani, Additional Director, said the Email Tracer tracks the sender by analyzing the information on the e-mail header. The Email Tracer will identify the mail server and generate a report tracing the Internet identity and geographical location of the sender. The joint directors, V.K. Bhadran and K.L. Thomas, said the report generated by the Email Tracer could be used by citizens to file police complaints. The police can take follow-up action by contacting the ISP or the administrator of the private network from which the mail originated.
In the past one year, the CDAC's cyber forensic group has helped law enforcement agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, to crack as many as 21 cases, including those pertaining to theft of `source codes' of copyrighted software programmes, indecent representation of women on the Internet, abusive and threatening e-mail messages and fraudulent online business transactions.