Stealth Monitoring of Email.

Posted on 2006-05-11
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I'm running SBS 2003 and need to be able to monitor my business partners email account for possible improper use.  Obviously we both have admin access to this so I have to keep it fairly low key so he is not alerted.

Is there a simple setting or hack,  that's hidden enough,  to be able to monitor his incoming and outgoing email.  I do not have his password, and do not want my access to show up on any logs.  I could log in as administrator,  but that would probably show up.  

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  
Question by:dlutz27
    1 Comment
    LVL 74

    Accepted Solution

    If you just want to watch his mailbox, you can easily add it to your Outlook configuration.  As long as you don't actually open any messages (only use the VIEWER) and as long as you don't  have it set to change a message to "read" once you move to the next message then you will be fairly undetectable.

    You just need to add your user account to the Exchange Permissions found in the user properties of his account.  Click on the Exchange Advanced Tab and then Mailbox Rights... add your user account to full access.  Your account cannot be a member of the Enterprise Admins group for this to take effect because that group is denied access to mailboxes by default and a DENY will override an ALLOW.  Check the other DENY settings to make sure you aren't a member of any of those either.

    Then, on your machine, open Outlook... Tools > Email Accounts... > Exchange Account > Change... > More Settings > Advanced Tab > Add to add his account to your view.  You will probably have to then close and reopen Outlook to see it.

    Now.. as for "showing up"?  If he does look at the Message Store login screen it is possible that your name will show as accessing it last... and if that's likely then this wouldn't be the best way to go.  

    Instead there are a few ways to cache things in Exchange, but you may be better off using a 3rd party tool for this.

    If your Antivirus program has an email content filter (such as Trend Micro's Client/Server/messaging suite) then that can be configured to monitor all inbound an outbound messages.  Other programs like GFI Mail Essentials will do the job nicely too.

    Lastly, there are lots and lots of spyware type programs which will record EVERYTHING.  I have a couple installed for clients and have reviewed a number of them so if you get down this far on the list and still need that info, please post back.


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