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McAfee recovers from Sesame Street email filter mix-up

This snafu is brought to you by the letter A and the number 533

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

McAfee has apologised for a Sesame Street-style mix-up over the weekend that temporarily prevented any customers with addresses that start with the letter A from receiving email.

The glitch – which involved the managed email filtering service from MX Logic, acquired by McAfee back in 2009 – bounced emails sent to supported inboxes that began with an A or a non-alphanumeric special character (eg, @£$).

In a statement, McAfee blamed a rogue script for the mix-up, which has now been resolved.

During scheduled maintenance late Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, a subset of customers experienced temporary account verification issues, impacting non-alphanumeric email addresses and aliases up to the letter "a".

The engineering team monitoring the scheduled maintenance addressed the issue. The root script that caused this issue has been identified and fixed.

Reg reader Simon, who tipped us off about the glitch, said his firm was obliged to turn off the filtering service on Monday morning, as a workaround, until the glitch was resolved.

"This Sesame Street stuff-up began around 4pm yesterday [Sunday] and continued until the early hours of Monday morning," Simon said. "Mail to the affected addresses was bounced with a 553." ®

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