AT&T WorldNet crushed by spam e-mails

AT&T WorldNet's e-mail slowed to a crawl Monday after the service provider's network was attacked by a deluge of spam.

AT&T Corp.'s e-mail servers, which primarily support consumer e-mail accounts, were bombarded by unsolicited e-mail bombs from "several different domain name" servers, according to an AT&T spokeswoman.

Once AT&T identified the source of the spam it blocked those domain names from accessing its network, thereby shutting down the attack. But the spam attack created a backlog of e-mail, which AT&T is still trying to deliver at this time. AT&T expects to have all of its e-mail queues cleared out by the end of Tuesday, she says.

The problem spread across AT&T WorldNet's entire network with some subscribers noticing more delays than others. AT&T WorldNet customers were able to send and receive e-mail from other WorldNet customers without a problem. But downloading e-mail from users on other ISP networks became a problem for many.

AT&T is still investigating the attack and says it intends to find out what happened and what the attackers were trying to accomplish. A root cause analysis will take four to five days.

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Denise Pappalardo

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