Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an AOL E-mail account that was obviously hijacked as two messages containing a link were send to all my contacts. When I locked into my account it was closed as AOL had noticed some irregular traffic. I am using Ubuntu 11.10. My question is: Is this some hacked the infos on the aol server or is there a possibility that there is bot malware in my system? If so what should I do?

share|improve this question
"send to all my contacts" means to all contacts saved on the AOL server OR to all contacts saved on your local computer? – arrange Apr 14 '12 at 17:20
as I only use this account from the aol page which is not linked to a local E.mail programm, I think the contacts are saved on the aol server – dago Apr 14 '12 at 17:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Since you only use the account from the AOL page, it is very unlikely that it is anything on your computer. Also, even if someone hacked into your linux system, which is pretty unlikely, it's also pretty unlikely that they would choose to access AOL rather than the many other things they could do.

What is not at all unlikely is that someone simply managed to barge into your AOL account, since AOL has lots of users, and is often used by people who know little about strong passwords, and so is not that hard to get in. Also, there are a lot of abandoned AOL accounts that can be used for a longer period of time than an active account.

Do you run any servers that are open to the outside world? If not, I wouldn't worry.

share|improve this answer

Without an access to the server's logs etc it is not possible to determine the exact cause.

  1. Most probably you provided your username and password to another service, and this data has been misused. For example my sister created an account with the badoo server, which asked her for her email credentials "to easier synchronize her address books" or something. Then all her contacts got spam from badoo. Don't give your secret data to anybody.

  2. Or your email account has been hacked. Somebody could have guessed your password, or AOL database was compromised. Use strong passwords and https:// when logging into your account.

  3. Or your Ubuntu box has been compromised. This is in my opinion the least probable (though not impossible) cause. Reinstall.

share|improve this answer
number 1 not possible; number 2 using https: god idea; number 3 an alternative to reinstall? – dago Apr 14 '12 at 18:40

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.