When a Decades-Old Email Provider Used by Millions Suddenly Goes Down – Slashdot

Mail2World hosts mailboxes for 2,150,000 different domains, according to its web site, offering both “free, reliable email for everyone” and a $29.99-a-year “premium” service with a terabyte of storage (instead of the free level’s 25 gigabytes), an ad-free inbox, and “premium”-level support.

“We appreciate your understanding as we work to fully restore email service as soon as possible,” reads their most-recent tweet — from Thursday.

Slashdot reader C4st13v4n14 is not a happy customer:
Since Tuesday evening local time, I haven’t been able to access my primary email account. This is an alumni email account I’ve had for the last 22 years that’s tied to all my accounts ranging from not only social media and IOT devices, but also banking, access to health services and contact with local and countrywide government authorities.

My country is highly digitised and virtually everything from taxes to buying or selling a house, paying bills, access to health records and correspondence with hospitals and GPs, driving licences, applying for welfare, and starting a business are online. I don’t even get snail mail anymore, everything is sent to a digital mailbox I can access through a browser or app with two-factor authentication. Fortunately, all access control for public-facing services is via two-factor authentication or smartcards with secure certificates for the highly sensitive stuff.

Regardless, the ordeal has been quite distressing as I was unable to find any information about the outage; a little detective work was only giving vague ERR_CONNECTION_RESET and DNS errors. My main thought was that my account had somehow been compromised and even more worryingly, there were no reports online about it. Turning to Reddit, I was able to gather that the provider, Mail2World, had suffered a ransomware attack but had been very uncommunicative about the event. In terms of news coverage, there was basically none. Only one random news site had a short article about it. During the days without access, I was painstakingly moving accounts to my Gmail address and updating contact information for the really important stuff like governmental services. This morning, I got a tip that Jesse over at BlueScreen Computer had reached out to Mail2World and has been documenting the outage.

Since then, some email has started to show up in my mobile app and I’m able to access the web portal again, but I can’t help but feel like the damage has been done. This is an account that I pay an annual fee for and have trusted to work until now. I also find being kept in the dark about something so fundamental in today’s world like email to be both very concerning and completely unacceptable. In that regard, I’m hoping this will bring some coverage to the event.

I would also like any input you Slashdotters have on migrating to and navigating Gmail. The interface is unfamiliar to an old-school user like me who still uses Eudora to check and save a backup of everything.

By the way, I’d should also like to point out that both POP and SMTP are handled by servers at pangia.biz, and their website has also been unreachable during this. Instead of Gmail, maybe you would recommend a different provider or service altogether? My work email is fortunately completely separate as of a couple years ago and handled by one.com as they host my website. It works, but they aren’t anything special really.
It’s interesting to imagine the scope of this particular outage. “Our company’s growing list of customers includes prominent organizations from around the world,” brags the Mail2World web site, “such as publicly-traded corporations, leading academic institutions and some of the largest and most-recognized service providers.”

But long-time Slashdot reader OtisSnerd has experienced even worse:

This happened with Newsguy.com’s email and NNTP offerings back in early September. I had my email address with them for 25 years, and my wife’s email for almost 22. It turns out that Newsguy went chapter 7. Luckily we were using pop3 with MS Outlook, so we both still have all the old email. I already had another email account elsewhere, but my wife didn’t. Took days to get all her changes made.

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