Due to human error, a spam e-mail sent to MSNBC.com was inadvertently and mistakenly distributed to our breaking-news subscriber list early Wednesday.
User information and e-mail addresses of our users were not compromised, and MSNBC.com is re-evaluating the safeguards on its e-mail alert system.
The spam e-mail, about a purported lottery contest, was sent by an unknown party to MSNBC.com’s breaking-news e-mail list. Like all such e-mails, it was then auto-forwarded by the company’s newsletter system to an employee for confirmation.
An employee then inadvertently and mistakenly approved the mail for posting to the list, which caused the spam to be distributed as if it were a legitimate alert from MSNBC.com.
That list and similar public addresses are often targets for spam.
MSNBC.com regrets the error and is taking steps to make sure it does not happen again.