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Pornographic spam has sparked a litigious rage in Warwick University officials.

Some Hotmail users have received junk emails, apparently from Warwick University email addresses, containing links to porn sites.

The messages were traced back to an American ISP called Starnet, the university said. None originated from genuine Warwick accounts, and none had been routed through JANET, the UK's academic computer network.

A spokesman for the university said that the administration was very "ticked off" about the affair. "We have put the matter in the hands of our lawyers," he told reporters.

He said that even though efforts to contact the ISP began several weeks ago, the requests for information had been met with silence until a couple of days ago.

He told The Reg: "If there is a case it will be about the defamatory nature of the spam - bringing the reputation of the establishment into disrepute. The response we have had from the ISP is very much a holding response. Basically, they let us know they had kicked the party responsible off the system."

Warwick is not the only academic institution to have been impersonated in this way. Apparently, spammers using US ISPs like to appear to be from ac.uk domains as filtering software tends not to catch the emails. ®

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