Libero and Virgilio Mail working again: here’s what happened

During the weekend Italiaonline communicated that the disservice that hit the email boxes of Virgilio and Libero has almost completely recovered, thanks to the possibility of log back into webmail – therefore from the official websites of email providers -, while the situation is still being resolved as regards the use of dedicated apps, especially those available on iOS.

The announcement was accompanied by a new press release issued by Italiaonline – which you can find just below – and by the opening of two pages of FAQs on the respective Libero and Virgilio websites, in which the service provider explains the main points of what happened now a week ago.

Once again it is confirmed that Italiaonline has not been subjected to any hacker attack and that the data of the e-mail boxes concerned have always remained protected and in the availability of Italiaonlinethus excluding that there have been intrusions by third parties and the compromise of users’ personal information. But what happened then? It seems that everything is linked to a bug that emerged from the new storage platform used for a few months now.


As can be reconstructed from the Italiaonline FAQs, at the end of November 2022 the service provider started the migration of its huge database (over 4 Petabytes) at a new storage system operated by a third-party company. At the time of the accident, approximately 75% of mailboxes were successfully migrated, however an unexpected bug occurred which made the memory inaccessible to the provider.

In particular, what has happened is the achievement of a certain threshold value present in the storage provider’s operating system, which resulted in the block access to memory, consequently to the impossibility of consulting mail or receiving new mail. This value, according to what was reported by Italiaonline, was entirely unknown and impossible to take into account, since it was known only to the storage manufacturer And not publicly documented.

At the moment the achievement of this threshold has been classified as a bug, since it is not directly connected to the high volume of data exchanged, the migration methods, the load and the type of activity carried out by Italiaonline, therefore it was not possible take it into consideration during the testing phases that preceded the migration.

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Italiaonline also specifies that it would not have been possible to temporarily restore the old storage system in order to quickly reactivate the service, as the users of the already migrated mailboxes would not have had access to their mail anyway. Furthermore, this could have resulted in the loss of data and recovery times in any case not less than those that allowed the disservice to be resolved.


Another of the topics addressed by the FAQ concerns the fate of the emails received during the long period of service downtime, for which two different scenarios occurred. The first concerns the messages that were sent to the Libero and Virgilio addresses before 16:00 on 23 January, i.e. before Italiaonline started the procedures for restoring the service. All these emails have been queued up and are gradually being delivered to the boxes concerned.

A different matter with regard to those entering after 4.00 pm on 23 January, for which different scenarios can be created. To summarize, from the moment Italiaonline stopped the SMTP service, the servers sent a message of “email inaccessible” similar to what is returned when a mailbox is full.

This means that the entry of these emails was blocked from the very beginning and then the providers who have tried to get in touch with the Libero and Virgilio mailboxes should have tried the automatic re-sending of the emails at a later time, as usual. In a nutshell, Italiaonline cannot directly manage the fate of these messages, but it is extremely probable that most of the emails will be resent to reach their respective recipients without problems.

Nevertheless, it is not possible to confirm that all providers adopt industry best practices and that therefore they have a system capable of planning re-submissions, which is why it is good to take this possible eventuality into account. The official site of the FAQ – for which you will find a link in the source and at the end of the press release at the end of the article – explores the question in a more technical way.


The Italiaonline FAQs also highlight some other aspects to take into consideration, first of all the fact that neither Libero nor Virgilio sent communications via SMS in order to restore access to the service. This means that every SMS of this type falls within the classic attempts to phishingso it is good not to click on any links and delete the message immediately.

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Italiaonline also underlines that a full report on what happened will be publishedonce the analysis of the incident has been completed, and the disservices caused will subsequently be examined in order toi analyze the cases and methods of compensation for users affected by the disruption.


With this new communication, we once again wish to update our users on the evolution of the situation, with a view to transparency, as a constant commitment to all the people who have made us grow and who have trusted our email services for over 25 years. years.

To date, all Libero Mail and Virgilio Mail mailboxes are accessible via webmail (or on the and portals). We are managing the progressive replenishment of the messages sent to our users in recent days, which will be delivered progressively according to the behavior of the mail providers who have handled the traffic of the emails in recent days.

As for access via the Libero Mail App and Virgilio Mail App, this is now fully available for Android users, while it is not yet complete for iOS users, who can however alternatively access the email service via webmail, i.e. on the or websites.

With the opening of all webmails to our users, an important step has been taken in giving back access to messages and data. The return to full functioning of all functions is continuing in parallel, also considering the accumulated traffic load. Our priority from day one has been to protect the integrity of our users’ data.

We will continue to communicate through our touchpoints until the situation is resolved.

In the meantime, a toll-free number dedicated to questions from our users is available: 800 591 829.

For more information, it is helpful to refer to our help pages:

Free Mail FAQ

FAQ Virgilio Mail

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