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Worst computer security disaster in history: AOL

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posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 08:12 AM

"AOL can now add another accomplishment to its list: "Biggest security disaster in ISP history". That's the inherent problem with being the world's largest ISPwhen you screw things up, you tend to really screw them upfor lots of people. In this particular case, hackers have compromised security at AOL to such a degree that the personal information of all 35 million subscribers may be compromised. That's definitely a feat to put on the next commercials for AOL 9.0. Hackers have gained access to Merlin (AOL's customer database application) despite the fact that the system requires a user ID, two passwords, and a specialized ID code to gain access."

For a long, long time, Merlin was the "holy grail" of corporate hacking. Some of my connected sources within the hacker underground are surprised at this recent "accomplishment".

Can any connect the dots to which entity may benefit from this event?

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 08:22 AM

Why would anyone need to benefit from it? Maybe it was just a bunch of crook's trying to get CC's or someone who wanted to see if it could be done. Either way, another one of the many reason's to hate AOL!

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 08:43 AM
Hello again e-non...

From what I've been hearing, most "big action" hacking is becoming less the playground of "can we do it" mentality, and more the arena of corporate espionage.

I'm sure you've seen this trend yourself.

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 08:58 AM
I've heard of AOL also being referred to as "Antichrist Online"...

From what I've heard, AOL is a habitual user of spyware that reads a client's hard drive to target them for ads...Since AOL finds & stores that info within their servers (quite probably against Privacy Laws), then that makes all of their clients open to Identity Theft. In other words, since AOL wants to make it as "easy" as possible for the "computer semi-literate" , they use such spyware to store credit card numbers, real names, addresses, etc...I suppose you could imagine where such hackers could use that info to their own advantadge & create real disaster for so many people.

From what I've found out at it appears that MSN browsers carry a similar risk...But at least their *security* with it seems to work a bit more efficiently than AOL.

...And what's with AOL offering 1000 hours free for the first 45 days with version 8.0?...A single person would have to remain online for *over 22 hours of every single day* to be capable of using that time anyway! WTF?

[Edited on 23-2-2003 by MidnightDStroyer]

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 09:49 AM
I've never in my life used AOL. They spy on their customers and worst of all they block out many sites so that customers are not able to see them. Whenever somebody asks me what ISP to use I say anything but AOL and MSN.

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 10:47 AM

Originally posted by Ocelot
They spy on their customers and worst of all they block out many sites so that customers are not able to see them.

heh... that's if your parents make you an 'under 18' account status.
aol provides a reliable and decent service, but it costs too much for dial-up.

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 12:27 PM

Yea, not many people are doing it anymore becuase they can. I myself know a few people good at hacking that just won't do it without permission first. lol

Perhap's another big ISP is trying to get some new customer's ... why they'd have to hack a customer db though is beyond me ... A phone book is just as good.

Well, we'll know if it was an ISP that hacked it if we start getting a crap load of Join Prodigy cd's in the mail!

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 12:41 PM
It does cost too much for Dial-UP. Anything over $10 a month for dial up is expensive. Especially with Broadband prices getting cheaper.

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 02:53 PM
There are more than a few contacts I have who are suspicious of this latest attack on AOL. The timing of the attack and talent required speak of a concerted effort to expose security as an overall issue. We can expect to see a similar breach of EarthLink and NetZero in the very near future (so my sources tell me).

The suspicions are directed toward Microsoft, since this style of security breach directly favors their "Next-Generation Secure Computing Base" (formerly known as Palladium) security initiative: Palladium White Paper

Stay tuned...

posted on Feb, 23 2003 @ 07:11 PM
I've almost forgotten about palladium ...

I think you might be onto something ... Micro$oft does have a motive for doing it ...

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