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NTL shoots itself in the foot

Scary graffiti is just test code

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Updated NTL restored its Web site to normality today after its contractors mistakenly loaded an alarming pop up message on to ntlworld.com.

Last night visitors to ntlworld.com were confronted by a pop up message that said: "You have successfully configured your hard drive for re-formatting. Next time You start this computer you will need to re-install your operating system."

This warning, you'll be relieved to know, is about a non-existent risk. Surfers were never at risk of having their PCs wiped after visiting NTL.

We originally though this warning was the work of mischievous hackers, who'd succeeded in defacing NTL's site.

Not so.

A representative of NTL has been in touch to inform us that the Javascript code which generated the pop up was cooked up by its own techies for testing purposes. The code, used in the development of an advertising banner, was mistakenly loaded onto NTL's live site by an external party which feeds in adds to ntlworld.com.

Quite why NTL's propeller head partners choose such alarming text remains unclear, since any old message would have done for the test, NTL told us.

Once the error came to light, NTL took its site offline and put up a holding page explaining that it was "experiencing some technical difficulties" and stating that it was making "making every attempt to resolve this issue in as short a time as possible".

The Web site has now been brought back online, though some users this morning were still complaining in its support forums that the alarming message has not been completely exorcised from the site just yet. ®

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