The story broke on The AOL List on October 3, 1997...

Keyword "Geraldo" takes users to the AOL's Geraldo Rivera message board, where topics include "Teenage Drinking," "Adultery" -- and "Geraldo Sucks dick." Another topic is titled "Steve Case raped me."

The topics appear to have been re-named -- since the first two are "Talk with Hex live!" and "Talk One on One with Spin." The vandals who hit Business Week may have struck again.

One topic suggests a source for their bitterness. "Marv Albert bit Hex."

"Story Ideas?"

That's what the title says on the main icon of Geraldo Rivera's AOL area. The newscaster has made a career out of catering to the interests of ordinary viewers. But does this pose of "accessibility" really hold up in real life? Geraldo still chooses th e news, and reports it in a one-way medium. Were the message boards just for show?

Some pranksters experimented Friday, October 3, when they found themselves with the power to re-name the folders in Geraldo's Bulletin Board area. They immediately added profanities that would never be broadcast over the air. Other folder names evoked disrespectful scatological fantasies about public figures which clearly wouldn't meet broadcast standards.

Real-world commentary conflicted with the carefully-orchestrated feedback process. But maybe Geraldo got just what he asked for. The description of the bulletin boards closed by telling their AOL audience: "We'd love to hear your comments."

Two screen-shots are below...

The security issue -- why AOL would allow this to happen -- is another question. After staffers discovered the attack Saturday morning and apparently corrected the names of all the folders -- new scatalogical names were added Saturday afternoon.

Other Recent Hacks
The Hub (3/31/97)
GameWiz (4/4/97)
GameWiz (Again!)(4/25/97)
FTP sites of several AOL employees (4/26/97 through 4/28/97)
The New York Times (4/29/97)
AOL Glossary (5/9/97 through 5/23/97)
Stats Store (5/17/97 through 5/19/97)
Thrive (6/12/97 through 6/13/97)
Kids Kicks (6/19/97 through....)
Fantasy Realm 6/23/97 through....)
Spin magazine(8/10/97)
Digital Cities San Diego(8/16/97)
Business Week(9/18/97)
Geraldo Rivera(10/3/97 through 10/4/97)

In addition, hackers hit AOL's Court TV area last November.