Web Based Email Case Study

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Objective: Web-based email case study---gmail


Review topics covered in lecture hours, from textbook, reference books plus online research, to conduct a comprehensive study about web-based email implementation in gmail. Optionally, you may use sniffer like wireshark or your choice to analyze the communication traffic: you are required to back up your findings with supporting evidence.


1. Review full headers of a sample email message you received in your gmail account (create one if you don't have one already): starting upward from the line right on top of the email message body, identify all components, from the sender's info, hop-by-hop, to your inbox (the destination);

2. Outline the process when you enter an URL in your web browser to connect to http://gmail.com, ! which including but not limited to, how DNS works in the background to get you to the destination; how the HTTP url is directed to HTTPs prior to authentication taking place; how the 3-way handshake process played out in this case; OPTIONAL: roles of digit certificate(s) & cookies; security and privacy issues involved;

3. What happened immediately in the background after you enter your credentials; what info is encrypted; OPTIONAL: what authentication mechanism is behind gmail's sign-in process;

4. Based upon your understanding of the responsibilities of each layer in OSI model, give a high level description about, in the above received sample email message, what happened at both the sender and you as recipient ends, from layer to layer.

5. Roles of SMTP, IMAP, FTP(s), MIME, ENCODING or other technologies involved in composing, sending and receiving an email message, uploading or downloading an attachment; OPTIONAL: how antivirus works p! rior to downloading your attachment;
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