Dumb autoresponders

I went on holidays before Christmas and set up an email autoresponder to say I was out of the office.
So I left and next day decided to use the free wifi to check the email. Not something one should normally do on holidays, but I was curious. I found about a thousand repeated emails from noreply@eu-supply.com which had sent out an email at 02:49 and received an autoresponse to which it replied “this email address is not monitored” and to which it received an autoresponse … etc.
After 1400 of these I got my ISP to turn off the autoresponder for me (thanks, Blacknight support people).
I would have thought this would be a well known issue that any email system would handle.
I would have set up the autoresponder to not reply to any messages with “noreply” in the sender, but that could not be done.
eu-supply.com said they would consider a future feature to detect email loops.
Has any else had that problem and how did you resolve it?
According to wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_loop
Prevention
The mail system should retain headers of incoming email while performing any type of auto-forwarding operation.
Auto Responder: Do not send more than ‘x’ replies to the same sender.

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About Patrick O'Beirne, spreadsheet auditor

Patrick provides consultancy and training in spreadsheet development, auditing / testing and model review; and the Excel addin XLtest
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