Telecom NZ may dump Yahoo email service

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Telecom NZ may dump Yahoo email service

Security breach the last straw?

Yahoo may end up losing its email service outsourcing deal with Telecom New Zealand after a recent security imbroglio.

Spammers allegedly exploited a security vulnerability in Yahoo's internal network to gain access to user contact details for customers of Telecom's retail ISP Xtra.

Hundreds of customers are still being bombarded with spam, some of which come from accounts used by their dead relatives.

The chief executive of Telecom Retail, Chris Quin, today issued a statement saying the telco shared "the frustration that our customers have been experiencing over recent months."

"We fully appreciate that repeatedly saying ‘sorry’ doesn’t cut it anymore," Quin said.

"We are committed to taking a close, hard look at the best way to meet our customers’ email needs."

A spokesperson for the Kiwi telco told iTnews that it would "undertake a comprehensive review" and this could mean moving Telecom's email service for its retail ISP customers back in house, and away from Yahoo.

Yahoo New Zealand's general manager Laura Maxwell-Hansen said the provider "remains committed to supporting Telecom and Yahoo! Xtra customers following [the] recent vulnerability in the Yahoo! Mail product."

"We take security and our customers' data extremely seriously," the spokesperson said.
"We are genuinely sorry for the disruption this issue has caused and we understand that people want answers.
"This is a complex issue and we're focused on continuing to work around-the-clock with our partners at Telecom towards a resolution".

Telecom New Zealand outsourced the email service to Yahoo in 2007, with an inauspicous launch that meant many of its 800,000 customers weren't transferred to the new provider for several days.
 
The telco paid NZ$7 million in compensation for the fiasco and its then chief operating officer of the retain division, Kevin Kenrick, had to issue a public apology.
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