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Aol and data

By zlitocook ·
I was reading some online magazines about AOL and how they are going the way of Google and Yahoo. And I found this out about AOL; they have released data on how the users they have, have searched. And I was amazed because AOL had always said they would never release any information or any thing about users to any one. Before I started really thinking about this, I thought this is just like the laptops and computers that were stolen.

No security, no encryption no one to watch what is going on in the network.

It seems that some one at AOL let 650,000 users search data out on a website but they removed it after they realized their mistake. But it was too late. It has been mirrored on many sites. Two of them lead you to the mirrored sites where you can down load the data base, it is over 400 Meg.
Here is a quote from PCMAG,

(AOL?s Duh-oh! Moment
When AOL originally posted the data, it did remove the names of the 650,000 users, but based on the information that is in there, do you really think anyone needs a name? According to one account, a reporter was able to use the data for one of these "anonymous" search lists to figure out who was doing the searching. How is that possible? Simple triangulation of data should do the trick, making it possible to get the user's name, home address, phone, and place of work. )

Allot of people do not use AOL any more or if they did it was a while back but this data goes back years and could lead to ID theft.

I down loaded the data base, not that I have anything to worry about! I never look for bad things or inappropriate things, not me I am a pillar of my community!

To me this is like the fool who leaves the laptop on the seat of their car or the person who copies a data base so they can work from home. These people get fired, reprimanded or never work in the IT field again.

This is just another data loss in the big picture at it dose not seem to be slowing down.
So what do you think?

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Anonymity Lost

by Jack-M In reply to Aol and data

So many people assumed the internet and following that The World Wide Web let them do things online that could never be traced.Anonymous Paradise. WRONG.
Pardise for legitamate searchers/users but Paradise (and maybe job) lost for those who enter 'PORN on the company computer

With the release of AOL's data using number identifiers, one can follow, for example #7 searching for breakfast cereals, a place to eat lunch, a recipe for dinner and what drugstore sells the cheapest HIV cocktail, or the morning after pill, who delivers pizza, or who delivers female "escorts" or "Masseusses" to your home or motel room, check the prices of specific drugs in Canada and the US, Maxi pads,Condoms, raw human meat, how to build a bomb. In my small town I entered a search in AOL's stuff and got 700 hits on the name of my small town. Using the numbers I was able to follow #7xxxxxxxx as he or she searched for the Plan B pill and where they coud get it, tampons, dildoes, searched for sex for barter, checked motel room rates, searched escort services, checked pharmacies, liquor prices, got a map to a motel. Once someone coorelates the #'s with the goods they'll have no problem coming up with the names.
I've been in IT for 30 years and there is NO email, file, search, download, chat(a man in Virginia was recently arrested for sexually predatory practices toward children based on chat room conversations FIVE years old.
Anything you put in cyberspace is accessible to someone. ANYTHING!
My brother called me from work a few years ago to laugh about accessing the NAMBLA web site. I freaked out trying to tell him there will be a record of that somewhere and he should hope to God his boss doesn't have keylogging SW on his system.
Don't type anything on an owned computer that you wouldn't want your boss or Mom to see.
Go to a public library.
Jack

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AOL is digging their own grave

by mroonie In reply to Aol and data

That database that AOL put up cost the company what little credibility it had left. We all know that AOL's going down the drain but that had to be the last straw. I mean, do you know how many people out there have searched their name just to see what they can find about themselves on the internet? That's all it takes for that person to become a victim of ID theft!

AOL is already the breeding ground for spammers, scammers and hackers http://www.essentialsecurity.com/Documents/article22.htm

...and now they have just welcomed more of them in with open arms.

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