For some time now, I have frequently received inquiries from people who are concerned because unscrupulous people are dedicated to insulting them by taking advantage of the pseudo anonymity offered by the Internet or trying to blackmail them by relying mainly on e-mail.
In order to help them to the best of my ability, I have chosen to publish the advice that I usually offer in case someone is in the same situation and wants to have some means to combat this social scourge.
The objective is basically to get your IP address to, from it, physically locate the person who is bothering us.
In the blog we have already discussed how to recover the sender’s IP address depending on the type of email account you use to contact us; so we can obtain the ip of those senders who send us emails from
Once we have the IP, it will be relatively easy to know the physical location from which the email has been sent.
If we are receiving the emails in an account other than gmail or if the sender has an account on this mail server, we will not be able to obtain the IP with the means described in the previous point; That is why some time ago I developed CatchThemAll, a small web application that allows you to know the IP address of anyone who clicks on a link to it; I recommend you take a look at the articles I have published about it to familiarize yourself with its use and better understand the two articles that we will discuss below.
The idea is to include, using CatchThemAll, a link to any image that we will place in the body of the email that we will send to the person who is virtually bugging us.
In our case we have used the following url to the image
staying in the mail as follows
As soon as the person receives the email, if the option to view images is activated, their IP will be registered in CatchThemAll allowing us to access it.
NOTE: If we suspect that you do not have the viewing of images activated, we can always include a reference in the email message suggesting that you show the images if you want to be able to see it (or see us) correctly 😉
Links with “gift”
We seek make them instinctively click on any of the links that we have maliciously included in the body of our message.
In this way, if we are convincing enough, when the undesirable that threatens us clicks on it, we will have managed to register its IP address.
Use your imagination (others call it social engineering) to make him click the link: tell him that you have reported him on the site that he can see after the jump, tell him that you have uploaded a photo of him or a video to flickr or youtube, that you have spoken badly about him in a forum … what you can think of but make him click the link.
Although it is best to put this type of situation in the hands of the authorities (in the case of Spain, the Telematics Crimes Unit works very well) does not mean that we try to collect as much information as possible related to the “aggressor” and the techniques described here may be useful in those cases in which the person who is bothering us does not have enough technical knowledge hide your identity.
I hope that these tips are never necessary for you but, in case you see you in a problem of this type, I hope they can help you to get rid of the problem.