A glitch in BT’s email system has resulted in lots of their customers receiving strange emails, appearing to be returned from somebody called Steve Webb.
A number of my customers have been in touch with me this afternoon to say that they have been receiving unsolicited emails containing the text:
Subject: Delivery Status Notification
– These recipients of your message have been processed by the mail server:
firstname.lastname@example.org; Failed; 5.2.2 (mailbox full)
Remote MTA be21.bt.int.cpcloud.co.uk: SMTP diagnostic: 552 RCPT TO:<email@example.com> Mailbox disk quota exceeded
In each case, the customer did not know anyone called Steve Webb.
A search of Twitter brings up many more people across the UK who have received the emails. The problems appears to have been caused by a botched security update, which led to emails on the BT system being forwarded to an engineer’s email address. The engineer’s inbox quickly filled up, and customers were sent an automatic email to indicate that their message hadn’t arrived.
Further details haven’t been released yet by BT, but I would expect them to send out an email to all of their customers on Wednesday.
Until BT provide more information, I would recommend that any emails returned from firstname.lastname@example.org should simply be deleted and ignored. This event should serve as a reminder that email is not a secure platform, and sensitive information should not be sent by email.