AOL.com was stolen by hackers. On an infamous day near the end of 1998, a simple prank revealed that AOL had chosen the lowest possible security level for their domain. 13 million subscribers ran up against potential e-mail problems, Wired News reported.

It continued a trend, as one AOL content area after another fell to hackers -- and in at least one notorious case, the damage lingered... After keyword "Traveler's Advantage" was ultimately repaired, the attackers left behind an index highlighting security holes which remained open for nine days.

Slowly word circulated about AOL's dubious security. Even as C|Net's columnist debunked rumors about a coming increase in AOL's rates, he took the time to add comments about AOL's spotty record on privacy...