An Anatel system irritated several people who approved drones in Brazil: at dawn on Monday (28), the agency fired automatic emails for a growing list of contacts without hiding their address. A reader of Tecnoblog received 133 messages sent to almost 400 different accounts, each with a different certificate number.
Here’s what happened: Anatel sent e-mails about drone homologation certificates, notifying the expiration date and suggesting that the person in charge asks for the renewal – the agency stopped charging a fee from individuals and companies.
However, Anatel’s shipping system was poorly configured. Instead of sending a message to each address, he fired bulk emails to hundreds of people.
The number of recipients increased with each email received. The reader Luiz Augusto Lago was included in this list when she had 264 addresses, and received more than a hundred messages about other people’s approval certificates. This occurred at dawn on Monday (28), between 3:14 am and 4:01 am; the last email had 389 contacts.
But apparently, it didn’t stop there. Film director Glauco Kuhnert says on twitter that Anatel sent e-mails to more than 1,000 different addresses:
Anatel exposes email of who approved drone
From what we could observe, Anatel’s system followed this logic:
- email person A about the certificate obtained by person A;
- send e-mail to people A and B about the certificate obtained by person B;
- send e-mail to people A, B and C about the certificate obtained by person C;
- send email to people A, B, C, D, E, F,…, Z about the certificate obtained by person Z;
- and so on.
The message came from the address [email protected] and it always had the same structure, reinforcing that it was something automatic. This was the text:
The approval certificate of number xxxxx-xx-xxxxx will expire on [data]. Please enter the SCH system to request renewal of approval.
Certification and Numbering Management
ORCN / SOR / ANATEL
That is, those who had the misfortune to receive messages from Anatel can find out the email address associated with each homologation certificate: just look at the last contact on the list. The document can be accessed on the agency’s SCH system, and contains the applicant’s full name and address.
The list includes individuals and companies like DJI, Kenwood, filmmakers and drone stores; there is even an address linked to the city of São Paulo.
Anatel says failure occurred after system update
O Tecnoblog contacted Anatel. On Wednesday (30), the agency explained that, after an update in the MOSAICO / SCH system, an “irregular behavior” appeared in the sending of notices for approvals about to expire. She says that the problem has been resolved and should not occur again.
This is the full statement:
Anatel clarifies that last Friday, 10/25/2019, the MOSAICO / SCH system received an update to align with the exemption from homologation fees for telecommunications products, as established in the new Regulations for Conformity Assessment and Homologation of Telecommunications Products, approved by Resolution No. 715, on October 23, 2019.
However, after the update, the sending of notification of approvals alert with expiration dates close to expiration showed irregular behavior, which caused the mass e-mails to be triggered by a group of users with approvals in the referred situation.
The Agency reports that it has already adjusted the system to remedy the incident and prevent further occurrences.
One of the messages received by our reader:
Thank you, Luiz!
Updated 10/30 with Anatel statement