On January 26, visitors to AOL's "Traveller's Advantage" area were diverted to a mysterious menu. The hacker group "Lithium Node" had installed a logo promoting themselves -- and replaced the original content of the area with a giant menu divulging locations for dozens of staff bulletin boards.
AOL Watch described the scene in a story published in Salon's "21st Century" area. "Though the material was apparently meant to be off-limits to the public, it wasn't."
Screen-shots of the giant menu are displayed below. (So many areas were listed, they couldn't be displayed on a single screen, and required two separate screen-shots!) In all, 56 addresses were revealed.
Exactly four weeks earlier, AOL's NetNoir area fell to hackers. As the Salon story points out, this followed an earlier attack just three weeks earlier. "We think they figured out how they got in," NetNoir's president told AOL Watch at the time--but if so, they weren't able to stop the second attack. The attackers altered text in eight different locations...
These incidents raise troubling questions about AOL's ability to provide a secure environment -- as various news outlets have begun to discover. Wired News recently described AOL as " a cracker's paradise" -- cracker being slang for hackers who break into supposedly secure system. "Lithium Node" had hit other AOL areas previous -- and even thwarted AOL's attempts to squelch pointers to their web page seven months earlier.
Other Recent Hacks
Traveller's Advantage (1/26/98) NetNoir (again!) (12/29/97) NetNoir (12/9/97) Roto-Zone (10/28/97) Extreme Fans (10/28/97) PC Hardware forum (10/26/97) AOL Live (10/11/97) Reebok (10/11/97) Lifestyles channel (10/11/97) OnQ / GLCF (10/11/97) Steve Case's Update (10/11/97) ABC KidZine (10/11/97) Jewish Community (10/11/97) Geraldo Rivera (10/3/97 through 10/4/97) MoneyWhiz (9/27/97) Business Week (9/18/97) Digital Cities San Diego (8/16/97) Spin magazine (8/10/97) Academic Assistance Center 6/29/97) Fantasy Realm (6/23/97) Kids Kicks (6/19/97) Thrive (6/12/97 through 6/13/97) Stats Store (5/17/97 through 5/19/97) AOL Glossary (5/9/97 through 5/23/97) The New York Times (4/29/97) FTP sites of several AOL employees (4/26/97 through 4/28/97) GameWiz (Again!) (4/25/97) GameWiz (4/4/97) The Hub (3/31/97)
In addition, hackers hit AOL's Court TV area in November of 1996.