Re: (Fwd) AOL users Beware!

Bruce Sommer (
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 02:23:59 -0800


For information on this hoax check out the following URL:

Title: AOL cookie message a hoax

At 11:18 PM -0800 10/21/97, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>> This message is being circulated throughout the Internet, and I don't
>> know where it originated, although it came with attachments coded in
>> html. Can anyone render an opinion as to its possible veracity? Can
>> cookies possibly be constructed to operate in this fashion?
>This has all the usual markings of a fraud, so I see little reason
>to take it seriously. But to be honest, there's no reason that AOL
>couldn't design their software to do anything they wanted--after all,
>the user downloads a native-code browser, so there's no way he can
>limit what it does. The use of the term "cookies" here is an
>obvious attempt to sound technical and play on paranoia about that
>harmless feature of standard browsers. Nothing in the rest of this
>message bears any relation to them; what they are describing is called
>a "back door", and while they certainly could do it, getting caught
>at it would probably ruin a multi-billion dollar company, and even
>Steve Case isn't that stupid.
>Call it a hoax until they show some proof, like a code offset. Until
>then, I assume someone just wants to piss off AOL by starting a rumor.

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