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Email Hack Prompts AOL to Change Policy

by: Bryon Turcotte  /  April 25, 2014

According to an article published by The Hosting News, an attack from hackers early this week has prompted internet icon America Online (AOL) to make significant changes to their email services. The article indicated that their decision to change their DMARC policy – a method of email authentication that is a way to mitigate email abuse – aims to protect "customers from unauthorized use of their account" and users "against spoofing and future hacking attacks."

A blog post published by AOL was quoted in the article to say, "Mail sent on behalf of AOL Mail users to DMARC-compliant domains will be rejected by those domains unless the mail passes SPF and/or DKIM authentication checks AND the domain(s) used in those checks match _We recognize that some legitimate senders will be challenged by this change and forced to update how they send mail, and we sincerely regret the inconvenience to you."

The article indicates that many of AOL's users began to report that "their AOL Mail had been hacked\, "some "_complaining about spam messages being sent from their account_" and other members of the service reporting that their email accounts "_had sent spoofed messages to their contact book_." The report stated that "sources close to the company_" had received information leading them to "_believe that the hack impacted less than 1 percent of AOL customers."

Read more about the impact that this event had on America Online in the complete article and ripple into their future business plans for better security.

Written by Bryon Turcotte  /  April 25, 2014