AT&T New Zealand says emails sent to customers and partners asking them to join a white list of email servers in a bid to stem the flow of spam were sent by mistake.
New Zealand manager Roger Paine says the company has recalled the emails, which were part of an internal discussion on how to limit a sudden surge in spam. Someone sent them out to the wider world, starting a "rumour" that AT&T would be ignoring email sent from non-accepted mail servers.
"There was obviously a lot of internal discussion and apparently some of these emails were sent out beyond the discussion group by error.
"Nothing happened other than we had a lot of spam for two days and had a bit of a think tank internally."
Paine says he doesn't think white lists of acceptable email servers would be a viable on a large scale.