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Investigating Email Abuse

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Michael Taylor

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Posted: 30 Aug 2005

PROBLEM: Our Human Resources department needed access to a user's mailbox to see if the user had been abusing their email - without the user knowing. We decided that we could do this with a copy of the Post Office.


  1. HR provides us with a date they want to look at. We restore the Post Office to a temporary location.
  2. Go into ConsoleOne and go to the properties page of the live Post Office. Under the GW Identification tab go to GroupWise PO settings and change the Access Mode to Client Server and Direct. (We use Client Server only.) Then go to the Security tab and select Low. (We use High.)
  3. Rebuild the PO to a temporary location (desktop or temporary directory).
  4. Change the settings back to Client/Server Only and Security Level back to High on the live PO.
  5. Replace the WPhost.db file of the backup PO with the new file that you just rebuilt.
  6. Run the GW Check Stand Alone version and point the DB path to the backup PO. The Object Type will be user ID, action is Reset Client Options, Clear User Password. Run this.
  7. Grant Rights to the Restored PO Directory to whomever will need it.
  8. Create a GroupWise icon that the HR person can use to access the user's data. The target of the shortcut should look something like this:
    C:\Novell\GroupWise\GrpWise.exe /@u-jdoe /ph-\\Server\volume\Grpwise\Po
  9. Close your GroupWise and Notify and test the Icon you have placed on your desktop.
  10. Once everything is working correctly, copy this icon to the personal drive of the HR person who will be using it. Make sure you tell them to close GroupWise and exit Notify before trying it.

*One Gotcha - If the HR person doing the investigation is in the same Post Office as the user, they will still connect to the backup PO when they try to get into their own mailbox.

This has become a common method for email abuse investigations here at the Superior Court.

If you have any questions you may contact Michael at

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