How to Search For Evidence within Emails?

MailXaminer | July 28th, 2020 | Forensics

Looking for ways to search for evidence within emails? Then, this blog reveals the ultimate solution for the same. Check it out now!

Millions of emails are traversed from one destination to another, out of which many emails could be crucial evidence against the crime scene. Emails that might be intentionally or accidentally deleted must be recovered and the metadata accompanied by the emails can be valuable. After fetching all those suspected emails, systematic identification of the evidence hidden within the emails is one of the most crucial steps in the investigation process.

Therefore, to make this cumbersome task easy in terms of searching potential evidence within the emails, continue to read the blog till the end!

How to Manually Search for Evidence within Emails?

To manually search for evidence from the emails, users must know that an ideal yet effective search technique should consume the least possible time. Also, one should aim for the collection of maximum evidence. Different manual techniques by which one can search for evidence in emails include the following:

  • Name Based Search
    This is one of the basic manual searches which is carried out to search emails containing specific names. Moreover, it is important to sort such emails, which will enable the investigators to focus only on those emails which contains a potential piece of evidence regarding the occurred crime.
  • Keyword Based Search
    Forensic experts can sort the emails that contain some specific phrases or words, that are of key importance regarding the case.
    For Instance: If the case is with regards to drug dealers and the emails are exchanged between the culprit and his clients. Then, the emails that contain keywords like ‘drug’, ‘deal’, etc. can be sorted out and can be kept separately for forensic analysis propose.
  • Date Based Search
    Another method is to analyze all the emails that have been exchanged between the suspect and others on a particular date. A timeline can be created that includes the emails, which are exchanged within that particular date range. By this, it will help to narrow down the range of emails that need to be examined by the investigators.

What are the Different Drawbacks of Searching Evidence Manually?

All the above searching techniques can be applied in case the investigators are examining the email artefacts manually. However, there are various drawbacks associated with it. Some of them are:

  • Manually searching for evidence in emails consumes a lot of unnecessary time. This may lead to wastage of time that otherwise would have been consumed to collect more evidences.
  • The risk of missing out crucial evidence is increased, when it comes to manually analyze every single email individually.
  • Sorting out specific emails can turn out to be problematic in case the count of emails under examination is very high.

MailXaminer: Unveil Evidences Using Advanced Search Options

All the above-mentioned challenges demand a professional utility that enables the examiners to search relevant emails without compromising the data integrity. MailXaminer is one of the most efficacious and smart tool for Forensic Email Analysis.

What makes it unique is its advanced search options that enable the investigators to extract evidences in an effortless way. The unique search options rendered by the tools include the following:

  • General Search
    General search is used to run an overall search on all the scanned emails. The desired keywords can be searched within the emails by this option. If keywords are mentioned within quotes, the software generates all the emails containing the keywords in the exact order. Moreover, applying logical operators such as AND, OR and NOT helps to narrow down the search results.
  • Proximity Searches
    By availing this search option, one can find the words by specifying the distance between both the words. All you need to do is mention the words within the search box and specify the approximate distance between the words. With this, it searches and displays the result in the software screen with the specified words, if found within the email message.
  • Regular Expression
    This search option works with various patterns or arrangements, which need to be expressed in the form of special characters in the search bar. Generally, it is used for matching the patterns with strings, which can exist in the email messages.
  • Stem Searches
    This search option allows the user to find words which are based on the root word. Moreover, it is designed in a manner to search for all possible variants which relate to the root word. For example, if you search the word “road”, then the resultant searches would be “roadside”, “roadshow” and so on.
  • Fuzzy Search
    This is another remarkable search option that allows the user to search words, irrespective of inputting incorrect spellings. Basically, it will fetch the correct words without considering the typographical errors.
  • Wildcard Searches
    The advanced email forensic software offers two different wildcard searches i.e., Asterisk (*) and Question Mark (?). Using the Asterisk (*) search, one can find all related words, which is specified after (*). For example, if the searched word is pro*, then the tool will show results such as product, prom, protection, etc. from the email messages.
    On the other hand, Question Mark (?) wildcard allows us to find unknown words wherein the user is unsure about the exact word to be searched. In such a case, this search option lets users to find the uncertain words by specifying the unsure alphabets as (?). For instance, if the searched word is “d??”, then the result will be den, die, don, etc.

Concluding Remarks

When it comes to search the relevant emails out of the bulk email files, availing the MailXaminer tool is the best choice. This email forensic software renders out of the box features that allow the forensic expert to sophisticatedly analyze emails. Moreover, the various search functions described above makes it more helpful to find the emails related to the crime scene.