CR-48 program members get spammed

Those who signed up for one of Google's CR-48 netbooks found their inboxes under siege this morning, with users reporting an avalanche of emails from a Google Group.

According to TechCrunch, the problem began around 12.23AM PST, when tipsters started reporting waves of emails from a CR-48 pilot users group (chrome-notebook-pilot-users@googlegroups.com). Some users received more than 100 emails within the space of 20 minutes, forcing them to create filters to halt the flow of spam.

Many were further aggravated when they learned they had never signed up for the Google Group in question, but were automatically added without their knowledge.

Around an hour ago, Google sent out an email explaining the cause of the spam. As it turns out, the Google Group in question was being kept under wraps until next week, but was discovered early by a keen-eyed user. To make matters worse, the group was configured to email every post made to every member, meaning just a single post was enough to spark a spam-wave which only grew larger as members posted requests to be removed from the group. Check out Google's full email below.


From: Chrome Notebook Team
Date: Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:21 PM
Subject: Apologies and an update on the Chrome Notebook Pilot User Forum

Earlier this morning, you may have received a large number of emails from chrome-notebook-pilot-users@googlegroups.com regarding the Chrome notebook Pilot program user forum. We apologize for this inconvenience, and you will not receive any more messages from this address. Instructions for deleting these messages are at the end of this email.

What happened? We planned to launch our Chrome Notebook Pilot forum next week to all users who had been selected for the Pilot program. Last night, around midnight Pacific time, a user discovered this forum and posted a message. Unfortunately, we had misconfigured this forum to email every post to every member. Thus, the first post started an avalanche of responses. Some messages were unsubscribe requests, others were thoughtful comments or questions, but all of them were emailed to every user. We have since deleted this group.

We’ve created a brand new user forum, which you can sign up for here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/chrome-notebook-pilot

Rest assured: you will not be added to this forum unless you sign up using the link above.

The goal of the forum is to provide a centralized place for Pilot users to share their Chrome notebook experiences and tips. In addition, with a centralized forum, our team can more effectively respond to your questions and feedback.

If you are receiving this email and have not yet received a Cr-48, you should be hearing from us soon. Again, our apologies for the flood of emails, and we hope you will join us at the new forum.

 Chrome Notebook Team

    —-
    How to delete previous messages:

    Gmail
    1. In the Gmail search box, type “from:chrome-notebook-pilot-users” and press Enter.
    2. Click the checkbox to the left of the Archive button to Select All.
    3. At the top of the search results, click the link that says “Select all XX conversations in Search results.”
    4. Click the Delete button. You should not receive any more messages from this address.

    Other email programs
    1. Use the search function in your email program to find messages with the sender chrome-notebook-pilot-users@googlegroups.com.
    2. Select all the messages in the search results.
    3. Delete the messages. You should not receive any more messages from this address.

Image Credit: TechCrunch

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29 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I got 54 emails in 4 minutes .My Android phone started making a lot of noise at 2:32 AM woke me up. I wasn't happy, but not a big deal. It is kind of funny now that I look back it at.

The spam wasn't that bad. If I had a droid or something hooked to my gmail like a lot of the people did, I would have been mad. I just rarely use my gmail for anything so it was funny to see so much email all of a sudden show up there. (BTW I love my Cr-48) Getting a bit of spam because of a minor screw up isn't that bad--They gave us a FREE ****ING LAPTOP PEOPLE!

devi59 said,
The spam wasn't that bad. If I had a droid or something hooked to my gmail like a lot of the people did, I would have been mad. I just rarely use my gmail for anything so it was funny to see so much email all of a sudden show up there. (BTW I love my Cr-48) Getting a bit of spam because of a minor screw up isn't that bad--They gave us a FREE ****ING LAPTOP PEOPLE!
Does this mean Google gets to rape you in the middle of the night too?

I'm in the pilot program and I was getting spammed starting yesterday. The wording in this article is a bit off.

astroX said,
Another reason why Gmail is not my primary email even though I do have a Gmail account.

The problem has nothing to do with Gmail...

Northgrove said,

The problem has nothing to do with Gmail...
Correct. The problem has to do with Google. Those ****ers had no reason to add people to a group without their permission. It was not there in their pilot sign-up agreement either.

Jebadiah said,
Correct. The problem has to do with Google. Those ****ers had no reason to add people to a group without their permission. It was not there in their pilot sign-up agreement either.

Typical Google, to use *real, live people's data* with stuff still under development.

When you mix the two, bad things happen. Always.

Jebadiah said,
Correct. The problem has to do with Google. Those ****ers had no reason to add people to a group without their permission. It was not there in their pilot sign-up agreement either.
I'm going to assume you're in the pilot program. You got a free laptop, is a little accidental spam for which they later apologized really such a big deal?

Silverskull said,
I'm going to assume you're in the pilot program. You got a free laptop, is a little accidental spam for which they later apologized really such a big deal?

It's not the spam that is the big deal. Google took advantage of you, and signed you up for something these people never agreed to. THAT should be the problem.

astroX said,
Another reason why Gmail is not my primary email even though I do have a Gmail account.

The group email address is what got spammed. The the user's email address directly. Therefore all people need to do is opt-out of the list and they don't get anymore spam from there.

Frylock86 said,

It's not the spam that is the big deal. Google took advantage of you, and signed you up for something these people never agreed to. THAT should be the problem.

+ ∞

(Spork) said,


fail

Hey, at least I'm giving Gmail a chance and look what happens to the privacy issue, oh well indeed it was funny lol

Silverskull said,
I'm going to assume you're in the pilot program. You got a free laptop, is a little accidental spam for which they later apologized really such a big deal?
Incorrect. I did not receive one. And it is a big deal that they spammed everyone who is in the pilot program. "Sorry" doesn't cut it. This simply means that Google uses your information for various purposes without prior user consent. Google needs to be ****ed over a million times with lawsuits.