Microsoft Spam Filters go Down – no Laughing Matter

Outlook and Hotmail inundated with spam e-mails

Microsoft says that it has now fixed a problem that caused e-mail filters used by Outlook and Hotmail to stop functioning. The problem was first acknowledged by the company on Tuesday night: “Some users may be receiving excessive spam mail“, stated a service page update. The users affected certainly didn’t need this information!

By midday Wednesday, things seemed back to normal. The company said that two sets of fixes had been employed to filter users’ ‘mail and the company’s infrastructure.

Many users suffered, and complained in posts on social media:
Getting a spam/junk email about every minute into my main inbox,
Drowning in junk mail

The funny side of electronic life

One Reddit user saw the funny side:
Look at all of these great deals I’ve been missing out on for years,” Peck Ed wrote, “Now if you chaps will excuse me, I’m off to become a… millionaire getting a great deal on my car insurance with my new Russian bride at the Casino with my free bets.”

The serious side

On the serious side, the security researchers at PhishMe have found that at present, 93 percent of phishing e-mails contain ransomware, and a new technique they call ‘soft targeting’ has a spam element. In a number of hours without a mail-filter, an Inbox is likely to have at least a couple of mal-mails.

We’ve implemented both the fixes throughout the affected infrastructure, which has mitigated impact,” said Microsoft yesterday. So far, they will not – or cannot – disclose what was the cause of the problem.

If you have a box full of rubbish, be very careful how you clean it out.

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