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Any recipient can modify an order confirmation mail, right? Does this ever matter ?

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I have boldly stated that there is no way to 'write protect' an e-mail, but want to be sure of my ground.

Surely if Joe Bloggs receives an e-mail from me (or my e-commerce site or a web application written by me) saying - "I will sell you X for $10 ", he COULD modify that price to, say, $9, and forward it to someone or save te e-mail, but so what ?

The original e-mail will always be accesible and traceable on mail servers and a copy in mail clients of all recepients.

So therefore, there is no need to do this - and anyway it is not possible.

Is this true ?

Answers

Your issue is one of integrity, whereby a recipient can take an email you sent them, alter the contents, then forward them to a 3rd party. This might be problematic if an agent or middle-man decides to bloat up the prices and take a cut off the top.

There are two ways of solving this:

  1. Digitally sign the message using a technology such as PGP, and ensure that all potential recipients are aware that you always sign your mail. This provides proof of authenticity, and gives you grounds to refute claims by any 3rd party.
  2. Provide an out-of-band copy of some or all of the content. This could be achieved by logging quote details on the server, along with a "quote ID", which is sent with the email. This gives you a record of the quote, along with the details that were used and the price that was shown.

I would go for option 2 in your situation, since it doesn't require clients to be tech savvy.

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