Empty “To:” field in Exchange 2003 SP2

20 pts.
Tags:
Exchange 2003 error messages
Exchange 2003 SP2
Outlook 2003
Outlook 2003 error messages
Outlook Web Access
SBS 2003
Small Business Server 2003
Dear support engineers, Lately we have a strange problem on our Exchange server. When a user is receiving a mail the field "To:" (dutch: "Aan:") is empty. This problem occours on both Outlook 2003 and the Web Access panel. It also occours on all users (including newly created users). Anyone got any clue where we should seek to resolve this problem? We are using Microsoft Exchange 2003 (with all updates including SP2). This is integrated in our Small Business Server 2003. Screenshot of the problem:  http://www.digithost.nl/files/exchangeproblem.JPG Thanks in advance.

Software/Hardware used:
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP2

Answer Wiki

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If the sender supplies all addresses as BCC (blind-carbon-copied), then you will not see anything in the To or CC fields (and you can’t retrieve the original address list from the headers at all either).

Perhaps this is your situation.

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  • RamseyB
    I am assuming that this is not happening with every email when presenting my answer. Some companies are now implementing protocols that intentionally leave this field empty. The reason is so the receiver cannot gather all the other email addresses the sender sent too. Their thought is that Joe Blow does not need to know Jane Doe's email address or that she received the same email. Their is nothing you can do about this and it is not on your end at all. If this is not the case sorry for wasting your time.
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  • Chippy088
    RamsayB makes a good point. We often do not need to see the email address of everyone else the message is being sent to, but it does seem a bit weird the first time we get an email without a 'To' addressee. I am aware of this 'apparent' problem through private clients. It has been mentioned to me, as i also warn users of spammers and scammers tricks. They are also using this method because it hides the other addresses from the potential 'target'. It is a reason for concern, if the other addressees are no-one you know, or look strange. It is potentially dangerous to allow this type of email to come into the company system, especially if the sender is unknown, as is often the case. Once opened, it can let in all sorts of unwanted problem software. Personally, if I don't see my name in the 'To' box I send it to the spam bin.
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  • Koohiisan
    But, there are really good reasons for using BCC to hide the recipients! Sometimes we need to send a message to many persons (legitimately) and not share every address with the recipients! Also, I've copied my boss on a lot of correspondence that would be important for him to know, without letting the normal recipient know that this was not a private thread. So...I would be suspect if every message did come in this way...but I would not auto-delete it 100% of the time without review. Just my thoughts...
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  • Chippy088
    @Koohisan, you are right, it is wise to review. I should have said 'it is sent to the spam bin and reviewed before deletion.' I do want confirmation that this is not a scam email, but one from a reputable source, but i will review it in my well secured, and locked down pc. I will not take chances. Internal emails of this sort is a company operating procedure. I still wonder why would you not want your coleagues to know who else has recieved this information? External emails of this type are not in my mind professional. They rank among the junk mail with the 'To the occupant' as the (im)personal detail. Hence my sending them to the spam bin, until I am ready to read them.
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  • Koohiisan
    @Chippy88 To respond to your question about why I send BCC to internal recipients: sometimes I deal with issues which may involve termination, disciplinary issues, legal correspondence, etc. There are times when I feel that I should alert the appropriate persons of authority without compromising my communication with someone being investigated. Perhaps it is an odd scenario, but I have done this a few times and it seemed to me to be helpful. I can definitely see your reasons for handling those types of messages the way you do! :)
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  • Chippy088
    @Koohisan understood, and I hadn't actually thought about that scenario. Thank you for the explanation.
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