THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Blank e-mails mystify Mint.com users

Associated Press / October 14, 2010

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NEW YORK — Users of the online budgeting site Mint.com got a scare when they opened their e-mail yesterday morning.

The site sent out a series of blank e-mails to users in the wee hours of the morning. There was no follow-up e-mail explaining the mysterious messages, raising concerns that the site was hacked. That’s alarming because Mint.com accesses the bank and investment accounts of its 4 million users.

The site says the e-mails were the result of a “misconfiguration from a test system.’’ Mint.com says its security wasn’t breached and that no customer data was compromised. But confused users had to seek out that explanation on the site’s community support section; the site hadn’t sent out a clarification e-mail by yesterday afternoon.

A Mint.com representative said about 11 million of the blank e-mails were sent from the marketing department. Not all users got the blank messages.

Chief executive Aaron Patzer said in a statement that Mint.com plans to update its homepage with the explanation and that an apology e-mail would go out later in the day.

Mint.com was purchased by personal finance software maker Intuit Inc. last year.