AOL's Steve Case shafted in penis hoax
Someone's pulling your plonker
AOL has launched an urgent investigation into why people are receiving spoof emails allegedly sent from its CEO, Steve Case.
Two emails have been discovered by The Register so far. One claims to include details about an "upgrade to fix all the bugs in your version of AOL".
The other advises that "penis enlargement and strengthening is possible".
In both cases the emails were sent from email@example.com - the same address that is given on Case's personal home page.
"Did you know that penis enlargement and strengthening is possible. If not I can tell you now that it is for the details head to http://penilefitness.cjb.net," reads one email, dated 14 June.
A message on the penilefitness site reads: "The web site you are trying to access either does not exist, expired due to inactivity, or has been terminated for violating our policies."
On 1 April, an email sent from the address of firstname.lastname@example.org, said: "We have recently come up with a new upgrade to fix all the bugs in your version of AOL. This is optional and only valid for a few members so we sent this out in email. Don't worry though the download is fast and simple."
The download link originated somewhere deep within fortunecity.com.
A week later "Donna" from the "Office of the Chairman" used the same email@example.com address to reply to a rather bemused Net user.
"The letter in question is not legitimate," she said. "None of the statements are [sic] credible and we would urge you not to comply with its instructions in any way."
In light of AOL's recent security blunders it is somewhat worrying that it cannot protect the integrity of its CEO's own email address.
A spokeswoman for AOL in Britain denied the emails had been sent by Case and added that the Webco took "all security issues very seriously".
And she denied outright that AOL's system had been infiltrated, abused or hacked in anyway.
"Someone's probably disguised the look of the email address," she said.
Yep... that'll explain it. ®