all major US carriers received text messages overnight that appear to have been sent around Valentine's Day 2019

Does anyone have any more information on this?

Users on Twitter report that T-Mobile said “that there is a known issue of texts being resent/spoofed and said not to worry about it.”


Yeah, like who (in the private sector -- we all knew the NSA already
are doing this) has access to and is archiving *everyone*s text
messages? And why?


It seems there is a company that has everyone’s text messages…

“Some mobile carriers rely on a third-party text platform called Syniverse to relay messages. The vendor said in a statement that its IT staff unknowingly caused the texts to be delivered this week.”

I believe Syniverse only comes into play when you text someone on a different carrier than your own. Syniverse is basically the middle-man for that message delivery, and a server of theirs just spooled ~150k messages until someone rebooted/fixed that server.

It sounds like these messages were never originally delivered to begin with, so “re-sent” is not exactly accurate.

“During an internal maintenance cycle last night, 168,149 previously undelivered text messages were inadvertently sent to multiple mobile operators’ subscribers," Syniverse said in a statement.

how do you inadvertently send messages that were supposed to be sent but worked and sent? Isn’t that the desired outcome?

We apologize for finally getting around to our job and doing what we were paid to do…

I run mailing lists. I’ve had times where I find something stuck in the system and instead of just deleting it, I actually try to make sure it goes out based on the original intent. This has resulted in me sending out e-mails a year or two later at times.

- Jared

Esp on Valentine’s day. Of all the days that clear communication is important. I’d be very interested in their reasoning for why these messages were not sent and held.

Reading Syniverse's cause of trouble (lame excuse) tells me their data handling processes are poor and seemingly shady since I do not buy reason for the trouble.

Playing devil’s advocate, perhaps they were under emergency court order to not deliver texts for a certain duration, market, who knows what, and that order just ended, but some type of non-disclosure / secrecy directive continues to exist… may have just had to come up with something to say because their other agreements would not have permitted discarding the texts… :blush:


That’d be an incredibly obtuse, excessive, and horrible order. And it’d be the very first time that’s ever happened...

-Ben Cannon
CEO 6x7 Networks & 6x7 Telecom, LLC <>

Timing can be critical, which is why SMTP servers often expire and return queued messages after 12-72hrs (maybe a week at most). Any messages that can't be returned are eventually discarded and a message is sent to the mail server's administrator. Sounds like none of that actually happens within Syniverse's TXT/SMS delivery system. Someone is asleep at the wheel if 100-200k messages are stuck in queue for months.

What likely happened is that messages were queued on host to go out, SMPP binds go down, queue fills up, host crashes. Then someone realizes the host is down and brings it back up and the queue empties when the load is low. Since it included many carriers, might have been a message routing server in the middle of their platform.

If they just realized a server was down, from 2/14, just now, I’d say they have bigger support issues

OK, I understand the part about text messages from February 2019 being sent on now, but…

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Form Joint Venture to Transform Messaging Experience
Oct 24, 2019
The Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative will help drive the next generation of messaging for consumers and businesses.

Looks to be within the last month!

Under emergency court order not to deliver texts? Not delivering tens of thousands of messages would appear to be abuse of the legal process if it were true.


Ok, you run mailing lists mostly on an amatuer (personal, unpaid) basis.

Every commercial organization delivering customer records should have a record retention/archive schedule. Holding on to customer data longer than necessary for business purposes is just increasing your liability when something goes wrong. And it always goes wrong.

Many tech startup companies never think about record retention schedules, or their privacy policy says 'indefinitely', which means the lawyer wrote
something down in the policy but no one really thought about it.

Western Union learned that lesson with telegrams a hundred years ago.
Tech firms keep re-learning old lessons, the hard way.

It doesn’t seem to be simply a matter of backlogged messages finally going out. My friend replied to the mystery messages received from me and I thought she was accidentally responding on the wrong thread. Her texts seemed spontaneous and disjointed which is why I assumed she was on the wrong thread. When we talked about it, it became clear she thought she was responding to me and sent me a screenshot of the messages she was replying to. I keep a copy of every message so I was able to locate the point in time in the past where this dialog happened and found the 2/14 timestamps. But here’s the thing. She had interacted with me correctly at the time back on 2/14. The message did not get stuck and undelivered. This was a resend of a set of completed messages.

What I've seen happen more often than that:

Server goes partly belly-up, queue fills up. Backup process runs, backing up the
queue. (Optionally here: Reboot the server and lose the queue). Much later, the
server hits another issue that requires recovering from backups - and they restore
a truly ancient copy.

I recently got a replay of a bunch of email messages from 2002. I admit not at all
understanding what procedure failures (multiple) resulted in reloading a mail spool
from 2002.