View the AOL-Files.com archive:
- AOL People – A collection of profiles for 594 members of our online community.
- Security Breaches – A compilation of all the major AOL hacks from through 2001.
- Articles – A bunch of how-to articles for various AOL hacks
Since this archive was compiled from archive.org, not all the links work and some content is missing. All of the highlighed links should work.
In 1999 a guy known by the initials BMB approached me about creating an AOL hacking website. At the time I had a small, relatively unknown site that I setup to distribute some AOL software I had written. He came across it, liked it, and invited me to create a better, larger site with him. Rob, an acquaintance of BMB, offered to host the site. I wanted AOL-Exploits.com, which I felt accurately described what we were doing, but Rob wanted something a little less malicious.
We eventually agreed that our new site would be called AOL-Files.com.
The site grew quickly. At the time, there was no shortage of people trying to hack AOL. They were at their peak and their software was rife with vulnerabilities.
Most of what we did was harmless – gain acess to unauthorized areas, stupid tricks in chat rooms, create unauthorized screen names, etc. However, every now and then we probably took it too far..
On one occasion, BMB tricked a high level AOL employee into providing his SecurID pin, which is six digit number that changes every 60 seconds that certain AOL employees have to use in addition to a password for extra security. He quickly signed onto the employee’s account and discovered it had rights to manage AOL Keywords. Normally, when you sign onto AOL, you’re directed to the keyword “Welcome”, which takes you to the “Welcome to America Online!” window. BMB modified the rules so that the keyword ‘Welcome” took everyone to our homepage. In about thirty minutes, we received well over 100K hits.
Another time, Hypah, a prominent AOL hacker, discovered a flaw in the AOL Instant Messenger process that allowed him to change anyone’s AIM password. To demonstrate his newfound power, he stole 4751 three character AIM names (which were highly sought after).
At its peak in 2000 and 2001 we were receiving 10K visitors/day. Looking back its hard to believe we had a site with that much traffic.
Needless to say, AOL was not happy with what we were doing and contacted Rob several times trying to get him to take down the site. To the best of my knowledge, he just ignored all of them. It eventually got to a point that I became worried AOL might attempt to take action against me or BMB. And so, sometime in 2001, I stopped contributing to the site and moved on to other things. I believe BMB moved on as well.
I didn’t follow the site too much after I left. Most of the original founders stopped contributing and the site was rarely updated. Eventually AOL acquired the domain, which currently points to aol.com
If you remember the site, please shoot me an email and say what’s up.
2022 Update: I discuss AOL-Files and much more in an interview on the AOL Underground podcast.