Feeds

Bang & Olufsen fans spammed senseless

Feedback chaos on mailing list

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Subscribers to the UK mailing list of Bang & Olufsen (B&O), the upmarket Hi-Fi firm, were bombarded with six million emails this week. List membes are hopping mad, but B&O blames the problem on flaws with some of its customers' email systems, rather than any security breach on its part.

An email plugging an integrated TV/DVD sent out to the list on Monday (24 January) generated a message storm when it hit buggy Small Business Server 2003 servers. The well-known glitch in email systems of three of the recipients of the message generated a blitz of replicated emails.

In the resulting chaos, the 20,000 recipients of list received between a handful and hundreds of messages apiece, according to B&O staffer Stephen Anderson, who looks after the list. Up to six million messages were generated in the spam blizzard before the plug was pulled on the offending servers. He said none of these messages were viral, but acknowledged they caused huge inconvenience. "People have the right to complain , but the problem was not our fault," Anderson told El Reg.

Anderson said the four-line long email, which had no attachment, was sent out to recipients of the list as blind carbon copies. It remains unclear how the list became exposed, or what triggered the message storm. Suggestions by some recipients that B&O sent out a virus or that police became involved in dealing with the problems are both untrue, Anderson said. The original message was sent via a Dublin ISP by B&O's Belfast office. B&O Belfast has decided to abandon email marketing as a result of its experiences but the company will continue to use the approach elsewhere in the UK. ®

Related stories

BBC sends Archers fans computer virus
bet365 sends Avril Lavigne worm to punters
DoD mailing lists left wide open
Security cert body gives lesson in insecurity
Kaspersky mailing list hijacked!

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.