Forensic Review of Gmail Message to Find What Time It Was Sent


In his blog post of June 17, 2020, the great Craig Ball discussed how to determine the precise time that a gmail message was sent by reviewing the original code of the message. This can help clear up confusion caused by email threads between people in different time zones. Here's a rundown of how to do this.

1. In an email message sent from a gmail account, select the drop-down menu by clicking on the three dots to the right of the message's header, and then select 'Show original'.

2. This will open the raw code for the message. Review the code for references to a timestamp. You should be able to find these by searching for the tag, "t=". The value following this tag measures the number of 100 nanosecond intervals between the precise time the message was sent and midnight on January 1, 1601. Windows uses this arbitrary date (or the date of the first full century since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar) as a yardstick. In this example we find the number, '1594755105' used as a time code.

3. On the site of Dan's Tools, there is an epoch timestamp converter. When the number 1594755105 is entered it gives the precise time of July 14, 2020, 19:31:45 UTC.


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