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Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters

Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Virgin Media has apologised for a blunder that resulted in some of its customers being bombarded with a deluge of emails.

The broadband biz emailed Brits who use its virgin.net email service, which is provided by Google, to warn them of some changes: from the end of April, Virgin Broadband customers won't be able to log into Google websites, such as YouTube, using their virgin.net addresses.

But any email replies to that message were sent to everyone on the mailing list: the email address the update was sent from acted as a conduit to the full list of virgin.net customers. This not only spewed hundreds of extra missives into inboxes, it also shared the senders' email addresses with everyone on the list.

“For a short time yesterday afternoon, a small proportion of our customers received a service email from one of our suppliers which, if they replied-to-all, it was sent to a wider group. The issue was quickly fixed and we apologise for the inconvenience caused,” a spokesperson for the telco said today.

Virgin Media said the problem only affected a number of virgin.net email address holders, but it seems those few still managed to get tons of emails, including spam and chains between other customers caught up in the distribution list.

As is now traditional, users took to Twitter to complain:

Virgin Media said it has now resolved the problem, and stopped the original email address from acting as a gateway to the mailing list. ®

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