back to article Braking news: AA password reset email cockup crashes servers

UK car insurance giant the AA caused all sorts of confusion on Monday after accidentally sending out a "password update" email to people. The alert led to motorists rushing to log into the motoring organization's website to change their passwords, only to overload the servers and effectively run them over. Brits were furious …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    but did they come and fix it within 30 minutes?

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      If they didn't... did they know a man who can?

    2. John McCallum

      Arrive in 30 minutes they can't even fix it in an hour

    3. Anonymous Coward

      That reminds me, must complain the ASA.

      I've a feeling that is a bullshit advert, that should read:

      We fix in 30 minutes AFTER we arrive, which could be a few hours.

      PS top tip. LIE to the bastards, otherwise be prepared to wait a long, long time.

      Tell them you are blocking a lane / junction / island and you've already nearly had a few cars hit you. Sound hysterical for extra effect.

      When they arrive, just tell them some kind people helped you move it..

      Alternatively don't touch them with a barge pole.

      1. Duffaboy

        This happened to me

        My car broke down on a major junction in Birmingham so I told the AS it would cause a major traffic jam. Made no difference whatsoever even local plod who enquired why I had stopped there in the rain refused to help me move it and elivate the chaos instead a motorbike paramedic came to the rescue and helped me to move it off the junction

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once fixed did they put up a green flag?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      I bet the data is stored in an Oracle RAC

  4. Daedalus

    And the bozocalypse continues...

    There aren't enough good people to handle the tech we already have, and manglers can't tell the difference between good ones and idiots anyway. Throw in a lack of gatekeepers on things like mass mailings, and this is what you get.

  5. Alan J. Wylie

    But there *was* a breach, just not customer data

    A follower just advised they recently notified @TheAA_UK about 13GB of exposed DB backups. It's not clear if they ever notified customers.

    This incident was related to the AA shop & retailers’ orders rather than sensitive info. It was rectified and taken seriously.

  6. DagD

    Braking News!

    Just don't cause a pile up trying to log in to change that password (you don't want to "break" anything). You won't get in right now anyways...

    har... har...

  7. frank ly

    At least ....

    .... they weren't all in the CC field of a single email. Were they?

  8. Mystic Megabyte

    Interesting AA facts?

    I once owned a hotel edition of the AA book circa 1920. It was full of maps and all sorts of useful information. I was surprised to learn that for 5 shillings you could buy a lead weighted message pouch. Apparently by each AA box was a flagstone square with a white cross painted on it. So whilst flying your biplane you could write a message to your butler ordering him to order extra pheasant for Aunt Agatha's party. Then swoop over and drop the pouch onto the white cross, the AA patrolman would then diligently phone your message ahead for you!* I wonder how many of these pouches were sold :)

    Also, in bold type on the head of every other page it stated; "If a patrolman fails to salute you, stop and interrogate him".


    *If he hadn't been killed by the lead weight!

    1. Putters

      Re: Interesting AA facts?

      If I recall correctly (though not from first hand experience - I'm not that old) it was AA practice NOT to salute if there was some copper up the road monitoring driving habits. So stopping and asking why was probably a good idea.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Interesting AA facts?

        it was AA practice NOT to salute if there was some copper up the road monitoring driving habits.

        They used to signal drivers if there was a copper up ahead, but that landed them in hot water so instead they adopted the model that they would always salute members. Of course, sometimes they would forget, or not notice the badge, or... hence the instructions to stop and ask what they were playing at.

    2. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Interesting AA facts?

      I have a similar volume, and it's fascinating. Two things stand out:

      1) Navigating - it includes a UK road map, but the roads are un-numbered (not sure when they actually did that).

      2) The wonderful London Pilot Service - don't fancy driving/navigating across London? Book an AA pilot! Bit like a pilot for bringing ships into port. You arrange a place to meet on the outskirts of London, and your pilot will then sit with you and give you directions (sort of human GPS - bloody robots, taking our jobs) or even drive the car for you until you get to the other side.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    ""If a patrolman fails to salute you, stop and interrogate him"."

    ....As he's probably spotted a speed trap ahead and you should ask him where it is.

    Mines the Canary Yellow one with the history book in the pocket.

  10. Tronald Dump

    Did they get someone to RAC to it?

    weak joke

  11. wolfetone Silver badge

    Big Wheels Keep On Turning

    AA's website just sat there burning...

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