Feeds

Genes Reunited server storm dumps pile of emails on mailing list

Server comes unspliced, spews 2,000 mails on some users

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The mailing list of family history website Genes Reunited went bonkers on Monday, deluging a small minority of subscribers with more than 2,000 emails each.

Reg reader Dave was the first to report on the message storm glitch but others have been affected, as a quick search on twitter reveals. "All the messages (all 2,486 of them) are the exact same one – just offering an upgrade to their monthly service (I have a free account I've not ever really used)," Dave explained. "It started at 13:00 and the last one I received was at 15:37."

A spokeswoman for Genes Reunited acknowledged the problem which she said had affected only a "very small" percentage of subscribers and was "quickly resolved". It seems an email server that went awry timed out during the process of sending messages, repeatedly sending a message but thinking that the operation had not gone through and trying again, and again, and again...

Only 0.014 per cent of subscribers to the family history site were affected, she added.

Genes Reunited launched in 2003 as a sister-site of Friends Reunited. The site – which brings together elements of genealogy with social networking – allows fee-paying subscribers to build up a family tree. Genes Reunited boasts 10 million members worldwide.

The site allowed free access to its premium content for two hours (later extended to three hours on New Year's Eve). It seems the service underestimated demand, resulting in slow access to content for some, who wasted little time in venting their frustrations via the site's forum. Another reader, New Zealand-based Hugh, who brought this earlier snafu to our attention, said he had escaped the message storm. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.