has experienced a nasty security
breach that exposed a great deal of user information, and the company says that it was the work of criminal hackers, as opposed to some kind of glitch or oversight.
“AOL is investigating a security incident that involved unauthorized access to AOL's network and systems. AOL is working with best-in-class external forensic experts and federal authorities to investigate this serious criminal activity,” wrote the AOL Mail Team in a blog post.
AOL first noticed that there was a problem when users began seeing an increase in spam in the form of spoofed emails. The mail team has determined that email and postal addresses, contacts, and encrypted passwords and security answers were all potentially accessed.
One good thing is that AOL doesn’t believe that the password encryption
was broken, and no user financial data was pilfered.
Still, if you’re an AOL user, you’d be wise to change your password and the answers to your security questions, and be vigilant about the veracity of your incoming emails. AOL is continuing to investigate the situation.