FYI - John here: My AIM, at the bottom of the page, is no longer superlinuxninja. For some bloody reason I can't get log-in to AIM using that screen name anymore and it won't send me password change notifications and it's making me cry. The new Giz AIM will be johnbiggsny, which is much less ostentatious. Please update your records.

James writes:

Last week and this weekend, AOL 'hackers' found a hole in the AOL name creation process that allowed them to create any and all names on AOL, as well as take ANY AIM account that wasn't associated with an AOL account. Most AOLers first try to get 'cool' screen names, then staff and internal accounts, followed up by notable AIMs i.e., from Gizmodo. That's most likely your problem as well. If it's any comfort, it will probably be suspended soon.

AOL has been in the process of changing all of their internal keywords
over from their proprietary format, to web based pages. One of these
was the page to create additional screen names under an account.
Keyword: Names or Logging in with a master screen name
you could create a new name that wasn't on the system, which took you
to a second step requiring more information. The screen name was
stored in the source of the page, but wasn't verified after step two.
Hackers would save the page locally, change the screen name to
whatever they wished, and then go to the next step, thus creating the
name on AOL. Then they'd change the AIM password and voila.

The AOL 'hacking' scene is very active, with everyone trying to get
the 'coolest' screen name. There's really no countermeasures when
these holes are found, other than to stop using AIM.



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