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sirboy1992 3 Jan 2020 12:21 AM

Timestamps in E-Mail Header
Hello everyone,

I have a question concerning the posted E-Mail Header below. I ought to recieve an E-Mail at a certain time. I recieved it too late. The sender claims he sent it in time. How's the delay possible?

Could you please explain what can be deduced from the information below - was it a "technical issue" or could someone manipulate the timestamps? Thanks in advance!!
(My email is censored to [email protected] and the sender's one is censored to [email protected])

I copied this from my e-mail-site:

Received: from ([]) by (mxgmx114 []) with ESMTPS (Nemesis) id 1MPHmP-1iLkoF2rEr-00Pco4 for <[email protected]>; Mon, 16 Dec 2019 15:02:46 +0100
Received: from ([] by with esmtp (GWDG Mailer) (envelope-from <[email protected]>) id 1igmoM-00036F-46 for [email protected]; Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:37:06 +0100
Received: from ( by ( with Microsoft SMTP Server (version=TLS1_2, cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256) id 15.1.1847.3; Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:35:58 +0100
Received: from ([fe80::59fd:666a:7751:299b]) by ([fe80::59fd:666a:7751:299b%20]) with mapi id 15.01.1847.005; Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:36:31 +0100

Berenburger 3 Jan 2020 09:51 AM

There was a 4 hours delay on hop 4.


Hop        Delay        From  By        With        Time (UTC)
1        * fe80::59fd:666a:7751:299b fe80::59fd:666a:7751:299b        mapi        12/16/2019 9:36:31 AM       
2        *        Microsoft SMTP Server (version=TLS1_2, cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256)        12/16/2019 9:35:58 AM       
3        1 minutes        esmtp (GWDG Mailer) (envelope-from <[email protected]>)        12/16/2019 9:37:06 AM       
4        4 hour        ESMTPS (Nemesis)        12/16/2019 2:02:46 PM

BTW, email is not suitable for instant messaging. Delay is always possible due to the nature of how email communication is built.

sirboy1992 9 Jan 2020 05:35 AM

Thank's for your reply. I understand that there is a 4 hour delay - but why?

And how are timestamps generated? By E-mail-sofware, by a server? :)

somdcomputerguy 9 Jan 2020 05:47 AM


Originally Posted by sirboy1992 (Post 612847)
I understand that there is a 4 hour delay - but why?

And how are timestamps generated? By E-mail-sofware, by a server?

I suspect the gmail mail server was busy or there were (was?) some internet hiccups before reaching that server.

The timestamps are generated at the server.

- Bruce

JeremyNicoll 11 Jan 2020 06:38 PM


Originally Posted by somdcomputerguy (Post 612848)
The timestamps are generated at the server.

It's interesting that time appears to have gone backwards by 33 seconds on the first hop (between a pair of machines both on the same network). One would expect all the machines on the same network to have their clocks in sync.

All times are GMT +9. The time now is 11:10 PM.

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