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Updated We can only assume that RedHotAnt is living by the adage "All publicity is good publicity." There can surely be no other explanation for the latest balls-up to emerge from the ISP, even if the balls-up is purely accidental.

Responding to a query about a service issue, Bob Garrioch, an RHA director, sent his reply complete with an attached virus. The only reason the recipient did not have any problems was that he was running Linux on his machine, and the "Kak" virus is designed to mess around with Windows.

The mail then ended up being sent out to a Linux user group post, stuffed full of RHA subscribers. Since most were running Linux, the virus caused much consternation, but little damage. Had these guys been running Microsoft Outlook, it would have been bad. Very bad.

Another source, also an RHA subscriber, said that it was the nuts and bolts issues of security and redundancy that were being ignored. He commented: "Basic security principles are not being adhered to. It seems as though they have neither the clue nor the knowledge to be secure. I am especially alarmed at the number of virtual domains they are hosting on their network."

Another Register reader wanted to add their ha'penny's worth, so we thought we'd let him.

"When RHA works it's very polished and something that I'd recommend, the rest of the time we just might as well forget having paid the subscription. If it's an account issue why don't they just introduce a monthly paid subscription? I'd hate to see them disappear because of bad planning, on the other hand it would be nice to get connected occasionally."

The continuing troubles at RHA just serve to reinforce that while this kind of stuff is not rocket science, some forethought and planning is required before jumping into the online world.

Our source had not at the time of writing received an apology for the virus he was sent.®

Update: Garrioch, RHA's director has sent an apology to Simon, and wanted to publicly apologise to any party who may have been affected by the virus. He says that the email came from his own account and that it would not have happened if he had sent it from his business account. He has now updated his DAT files so that it won't happen again.

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