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View the computer name that sent an email in exchange 2007

Posted on 2015-02-19
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Last Modified: 2015-04-09
We have a shared mailbox that sent out a lot of spam and need to determine which computer actually sent out the spam.  Not sure if there is way to setup a specific diagnostic logging to have it show the computer.  

I looked through the messagetracking logs , but it just shows that it was sent from the shared mailbox account.   We have 4 or 5 users that have access to that account and are in the process of scanning those computers individually for viruses, etc..   But want to know if we could track down the culprit from the exchange server logs or possibly another way.

thanks.
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Question by:tiptechs
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Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 40619325
In order to get this kind of logging you need to configure Diagnostic Logging on the server.
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb201668%28v=exchg.80%29.aspx

Is your mailbox sending externally? what you can do is block port 25 and then check your firewall to see who is continually sending email and from what machine.

I do not believe Diagnostic logging shows computer names/ip's where the email was sent from. Even if it does it will only show logging for email that is being sent after it is enabled. You perimeter firewall would be a better option.

Will.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40619327
That information isn't logged by Exchange.
Even if it was available, you wouldn't be able to find the information if you don't have it already as you cannot retrospectively log things.

The most you can log is authentication attempts at the domain level, but that will not tell you which machine sent the email, as the access is logged, not the action.

Do you see the spam in the Sent Items folder of the mailbox? It is VERY unusual for an Exchange mailbox to directly send spam. Much easier for the compromised machine to send spam directly using SMTP.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tiptechs
ID: 40619376
the spam would have been generated on a client pc via a virus and sending through the shared mail account within outlook.    

I understand that we wouldn't be able to go back and look after changing the logging, but for the future I wasn't sure if there was an option.

Thanks.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40621740
"the spam would have been generated on a client pc via a virus and sending through the shared mail account within outlook. "

That is unusual behaviour. Malware rarely does that, because it leaves a huge trail which it doesn't want to do. In fact I don't think I have seen malware send email through Exchange/Outlook for a number of years.

If you can find no trace of the messages in sent items then it was NOT sent through Exchange.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tiptechs
ID: 40621810
Thanks Simon.  I believe you are right.  We found the issue coming in from the outside on the spam filter (which was making it through) using the shared address.

Can you think of a good way to prevent this on exchange or is this something the spam filter should have caught?
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Accepted Solution

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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40622782
If you mean the From line was an address in your own domain, then the spam filter should have caught that and at least flagged it. However a lot of sites will whitelist their own domain, which is why spammers use them as the from field.

The other option for blocking it, again by using your filtering service, is to configure SPF records for your own domain and then have the filtering service reject email from everywhere else.

The key thing here is to have the messages blocked at the filtering service, as blocking it on Exchange is too late - a waste of bandwidth.

Simon.
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