The AOL List: Friday the 13th

David Cassel (
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 09:50:01 -0700 (PDT)

		       F r i d a y   t h e   1 3 t h


"Welcome to the Kids' Health & Development and Pregnancy & Childbirth chat
area!" reads the screen in AOL's "Thrive" area.  "News: Itch and Warp
owns your ass!"

It's Friday the 13th on AOL, and hackers have replaced the text in AOL's
"Health and Development area."  They switched the text in anticipation
Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. (PST).  Eighteen hours later, it's still
barking out its greetings, offering "a big fuck you to Shotgun, Power, and
GLAZE!!!" and sending "Greetz" to 24 other hackers. 

Selecting "Chat about it!" from the Kids' Health and Development menu in
the "Health" section of Keyword "Thrive" currently pulls up the affected
screen.  (It can also be accessed directly be requesting keyword
aol://4344:1209.chathost.9706892.537062691 ).  The familiar heart icon in
the window's title bar even allows the hacker's message to be added to a
user's "Favorite Places".  Across from the "fuck you" to Shotgun is a list
of child-related chats.  ("WED, 8pm: Kids' Behavior, THUR, 10pm:  Online

This is the latest of several high-profile hacks.  The list lengthens: 
since early April, hackers have modified at least seven AOL areas. 
Affected content providers included:

	The Stats Store
	The New York Times
	The Hub
	GameWiz (twice)
	AOL Glossary
	the FTP sites of several AOL employees.

In addition, C|Net reported that hackers attacked AOL's Court TV this 
November.  (,4,5712,00.html)
An index explaining all eight incidents and providing screen-shots has
been placed at 

A hacker named "Weed" notified the AOL List of the latest incident--but
the attacks may be having a cumulative impact.  Days after hackers altered
the content in AOL's Stats Store, Intuit expanded their on-line banking
operation from AOL to the internet -- suggesting that not all of AOL's
partners are satisfied with AOL-only offerings. 
(,4,10828,00.html)  Could other content
providers follow their move to the web? 

Time will tell.


AOL recently encountered another kind of security issue.  The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution's Art Kramer reported that Manuel Noriega had to
cancel a scheduled on-line appearance on AOL.  A spokesperson for the
federal Bureau of Prisons pointed out to the on-line service that inmates
aren't permitted to go on-line.

The former Panamanian dictator is serving a 40-year sentence on
racketeering and drug charges.

        David Cassel
        More Information -


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