On May 18, 1998, the American Civil Liberties Union was displaying a strange message in the title bar of their area on AOL.


Steve Case wrote that keyword ACLU offered AOL's members "the latest information on ACLU activites and initiatives" -- but the contents had been replaced with a white window containing a single sentence.


This makes the 31st AOL area to have its content altered in little more than a year. AOL recently tried to beef up security by requiring passwords for their content-modifying software -- but it's apparently hasn't had much effect. A recent article in the Village Voice suggests nationwide networks of hackers prowl AOL, with FBI agents concerned about a "massive deployment" of password-stealing programs. The Washington Post reported that 370,000 accounts were cancelled in one three-month period in 1996 for "hacking, credit card fraud, etc." (9/16/96).

AOL's recent, failed attempt to increase the security of their content apparently started after embarrassing articles in Wired News and Salon's 21st Century. Maybe AOL's new strategy consists of hoping no one will notice....

Other Recent Attacks

Member Directory
(??? through 4/10/98)
Traveller's Advantage
NetNoir (again!)
Extreme Fans
PC Hardware forum
AOL Live
Lifestyles channel
Steve Case's Update
ABC KidZine
Jewish Community
Geraldo Rivera(10/3/97 through 10/4/97)
Business Week(9/18/97)
Digital Cities San Diego(8/16/97)
Spin magazine(8/10/97)
Academic Assistance Center 6/29/97)
Fantasy Realm (6/23/97)
Kids Kicks (6/19/97)
Thrive (6/12/97 through 6/13/97)
Stats Store (5/17/97 through 5/19/97)
AOL Glossary (5/9/97 through 5/23/97)
The New York Times (4/29/97)
FTP sites of several AOL employees (4/26/97 through 4/28/97)
GameWiz (Again!)(4/25/97)
GameWiz (4/4/97)
The Hub (3/31/97)

In addition, hackers hit AOL's Court TV area in November of 1996.