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Xtra Trashes 1.5 Million Email Viruses

Fri, 23 Aug 2002

Xtra Trashes 1.5 Million Email Viruses In First Month

One month after it began automatically scanning for email viruses, New Zealand’s leading Internet service provider Xtra has trashed over 1.5 million of the electronic nasties.

Xtra launched its $1 million automated anti-virus email filter on 23 July. The filter works by scanning all incoming and outgoing emails for known email viruses at no additional cost to customers.

The service is designed to protect all Xtra customers from dangerous known email viruses that can attack personal files and damage computers.

A daily tally of the number of email viruses Xtra has trashed is displayed on Xtra's Web site at The 1.5 million mark was reached on Thursday 22 July.

Xtra’s General Manager Rod Snodgrass says the new service was introduced to protect customers as email viruses become more sophisticated.

“The number of email viruses we’ve caught and trashed since we installed the filter shows just how large a problem email-borne viruses have become.

“I’ve talked to computer users who’ve had to pay hundreds of dollars to repair the damage done to their computer files by just one email virus in the past.

“Our new anti-virus email filter means there were 1.5 million potential disasters in the first month alone that our customers didn’t need to worry about,” says Rod Snodgrass.

On average Xtra’s anti-virus email filter caught around 50,000 email viruses a day in the first month of operation. If it detects a virus, the filter deletes the virus attachment in real time and sends the email on to the intended recipient.

Both the sender and the recipient of the infected email receive an alert telling them a virus has been found and deleted.

Around 3.5 million email messages a day are sent over Xtra’s email system.

Research firm Computer Economics says viruses caused $NZ 25.93 billion worth of damage to computers and networks worldwide in 2001.

About Xtra Part of the Telecom group, Xtra Limited is New Zealand’s leading provider of innovative Internet services that help people and businesses connect with each other and the world.

Xtra also delivers New Zealand’s most popular Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to advertisers through the XtraMSN Web site.

For more information about Xtra, please visit


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