Don’t worry, your computer didn’t accidentally open a rift in time again — you really are getting spam emails from AOL just like it’s 1996 all over again.
The company has been relatively tight-lipped about who was behind the account breach or how they were able to get in, but they have responded to the problem in an official statement which hopes to clear things up for anyone who found themselves on the receiving end of a seemingly infinite stream of spam headed in the direction of as many inboxes that could be found before the whole operation was discovered and promptly shut down.
“AOL takes the safety and security of consumers very seriously, and we are actively addressing consumer complaints,” a spokeswoman for AOL has said. “We are working to resolve the issue of account spoofing to keep users and their respective accounts running smoothly and securely.”
The usual stuff was on display here, advertising natural health remedies by the dozen, how to get your taxes taken care of on the cheap, and everyone’s favorite…male enhancement messages, that we’ve all become so accustomed to since we first started signing on through the decreasingly popular online provider.
“Today we moved to change our DMARC policy to p=reject. This helps to protect AOL Mail users’ addresses from unauthorized use. It also stops delivery on what previously would have been considered authorized mail sent on behalf of AOL Mail users via non-AOL servers. If you’re a bulk sender on behalf of AOL addresses, that probably includes mail sent from you.”
Hopefully this move should enable the majority of spam filters on more widely used services like Gmail and Yahoo to effectively separate the good mail from the bad, although the company is still concerned that some of the accounts of their users may have been compromised in a way that could still fool those firewalls if subverted properly.
So the next time your computer tells you “You’ve Got Mail!”, maybe wait a couple minutes and be sure it’s from someone you trust first.