AOL Watch received this message today from someone claiming to be one of the service's regular "password-fisher".
AOL is the largest living piece of shit on the face of the planet. AOL must have declared an all-out war on people using phished (stolen) accounts since every damn account I have been on has been nuked within a few days of inital use. AOL is of the mindset that faster termination of phished accounts will benefit their subscriber base. Their perception of reality couldn't be further from the truth.

Every phish that I have used in the past 3 months has died within a week of first use. While this would be considered normal in the past if you had used the account for illegal purposes and had been reported by other members, the accounts are now just being terminated for simply being online. It is possible (though unlikely) that AOL has now installed software to detect abnormal "usage patterns" (similar software is used by credit card compaines) and resets the password of "red flagged" accounts.

AOL believes that if they get rid of the accounts the phishers are on, it will get rid of the phishers. This is tantamount to curing hunger by killing the starving. AOL's solution is not an end in itself, rather it is a foolish antic that will surely evoke a strong retaliation. When accounts are frequently lost, a phisher will not sit idly by and watch, he will attempt to obtain accounts more frequently and with greater priority, possibly using more creative methods in the process. This broadened phishing activity directly translates to increased loss of accounts on AOL's part

On the surface AOL's actions may seem suitable, however AOL is not adequately educating members about the hazards of giving out their passwords. With the churn rate the service experiences, it would be impracticle to expect every new user to anticipate the schemes they're about to befall. This could also be construed to mean that since AOL can no longer amply educate each new member, they do not have the resources to handle him in the first place.

If AOL is to come to terms with the problems plaguing their service, they must do it with scrupulous precision or they will ultimately fabricate a predicament far greater than the original problem. In the future, AOL should consider the effects imposed by a solution before implementing it. In the long run, more time will be saved and vaulable customers will be kept.