If You’re Going to Make Fakes, Best Double and Triple check Your Work.

I’ve been hav­ing an ongo­ing dis­cus­sion with Steve Baugh­man on and off YouTube for over a week regard­ing claims he’s made in this video about the cur­rent­ly unfold­ing scan­dal fac­ing Ravi and RZIM. He built this site as a plat­form from which to launch his assaults against Ravi.

He seems to set great store in the verac­i­ty of some images of some alleged emails he’s been sent. Words like ‘proof’ and ‘unde­ni­able’ and sim­i­lar have float­ed around. My expla­na­tion that images are absolute­ly no proof what­so­ev­er and may be forged by some­one with lit­tle or no tal­ent, and that the only ‘proof’ one may have that an email is authen­tic is to have in one’s pos­ses­sion an email with full and unal­tered head­ers that a dig­i­tal foren­sics per­son can then back-trace through serv­er logs to con­firm that this email from this email address to this email address tra­versed these ‘hops’, servers in a chain from the orig­i­nat­ing point A to the des­ti­na­tion point B.

I kept promis­ing to show him how easy it is to forge an “image” of an email to say what­ev­er you want it to say. More dif­fi­cult today, is the abil­i­ty to use unse­cure servers to ‘spoof’, or assume a false iden­ti­ty and send a mes­sage, but this is still pos­si­ble and is exposed quick­ly by foren­sic analy­sis.

Using one of the images he pro­vid­ed, I placed his orig­i­nal on the left, my ‘forgery’ in the cen­ter, and an expla­na­tion of my efforts on the right-hand side. In doing so I dis­cov­ered what look to be evi­dences of a very slop­py and inex­pert forgery. Steve and his col­leagues have attempt­ed to give expla­na­tion for these, but noth­ing strong enough for me to war­rant the pos­si­bil­i­ty that there could be legit­i­mate expla­na­tion (I used more def­i­nite lan­guage in the image).

In ret­ro­spect, I regret some­what my sar­cas­tic tone and the irrev­er­ent and per­haps inap­pro­pri­ate hypo­thet­i­cal.

Leave a Reply