Less than one week after it rolled out version 7.0 of its flagship software amid pomp and circumstance, America Online experienced an embarrassing lapse in security. Through relatively simple means hackers managed to obtain access to 'Rainman', a major content server for the online service. Rainman granted the hackers an all access pass to create and edit content to their own liking, which in turn was featured at three unique AOL keywords for nearly 12 hours, according to reports received from the alleged hackers.
The defaced pages remained accessible to over 30 million subscribers for a prolonged period of time in place of what would ordinarily be considered universally trusted subject matter. The breakdown of its security measures left AOL Time Warner vulnerable to being unwitting participants in the subversion of information at a time when world events dictate the need for reliable media resources.
BetaNews obtained word of the incident late last night when anonymous sources provided screenshots of the keywords: EIU, JOC, and ECONOMIST. Shortly thereafter, BetaNews confirmed that each had been vandalized. Keywords are shortcuts that take AOL users to online content hosted on the company's own servers.
View: keyword EIU hacked
View: keyword JOC hacked
View: keyword ECONOMIST hacked
News source: betanews.com