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UUNet customers have been left stranded without access to their email for the last 36 hours after the outfit took a "very big hit" from spammers earlier this week.

Users of MSN, Pipex, and Gateway's ISP plus some corporate customers, among others, have been hit by the incident.

According to Richard Woods of UUNet in Cambridge, it could be Monday before the whole system is back to normal.

The massive influx of spam occurred on Wednesday night and into Thursday. Engineers at UUNet have identified the source of the unsolicited commercial email and can confirm that the spamming has now stopped.

Woods reassured The Register that the material was not "obscene or objectionable".

In a statement issued tonight UUNet explained: "The Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) mail has impacted upon mail queuing systems and is only allowing small amounts to reach customers' mail boxes.

"Meanwhile the incoming new mail is stored awaiting delivery and cannot be sorted until our engineers have individually removed the UCE mail thus freeing space for new mail and the sorting process to be completed.

"UUNet regrets the inconvenience and advises customers who are aware of urgent incoming mail that has not arrived to contact the sender and make alternative arrangements." ®

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