Stories appeared on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, and in countless other news outlets warning users of yet-another security hole. The breach was real, AOL admitted -- and joyrides had been taken on the accounts of unlucky members. Though AOL had promised them a secure environment, users found that control of their accounts was gone in 60 seconds.
Damage control was apparently AOL's first response. One web site obtained a document they say AOL issued almost immediately to their employees providing scripted answers. But the webmasters weren't re-assured. They inserted into the memo their own interpretation of AOL's responses. "If they ask for specifics, change the subject real quick."