Deep in AOL's Thrive area, hackers hid a message. Like astronauts leaving their names on the moon or grafitti artists signing their city, AOL's vandals wanted the high-paid security consultants to know: you couldn't keep us out. No matter how many time s AOL claimed to be "the most-protected environment on the internet" -- they couldn't keep the hackers out. [Red arrow indicates the area where the hackers left their mark.]On June 12, hackers decided to alter the content in AOL's "Thrive" area...
Eighteen hours later, their handiwork was still on-line -- a signed message naming 24 hackers. They also added surly profanities into text promoting chats about "Kids' Health & Development" and "Pregnancy & Childbirth".
Tallying the breaches, the total comes to at least seven -- since April -- and at least eight since November. Click on the links below for screen-shots and information about hacks on the following AOL content areas:ThriveThe attack on the children-related site may be a subtle message to AOL about sexual battery charges filed against AOL lawyer Andrew Singer the week before. On June 6 the Washington Post reported that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office had investigated charges involving an 11-year-old boy. The Sheriff's Office told another reporter that they had entered AOL's headquarters in Dulles, Virginia to make the arrest; after the incident, the AOL attorney had apparently returned to work for several days after the incident.
The New York Times
the FTP sites of several AOL employees
Court TV (in November)
Although the hackers could be responding to AOL's reputation as a haven for pedophiles. When they altered AOL's New York Times area, one of the options they placed below the icons was "Kiddie porn click here."
aol://4344:1209.chathost.9706892.537062691 was the AOL URL for the affected area. It could also be reached through Keyword "Thrive," under the "Health" section's "Kids' Health and Development" area -- the link titled "Chat About It!"