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AOL Leaks Search Data

Posted by Alex Bailey On August - 8 - 2006

AOL has “accidentally” leaked the search queries from 500-600 thousand of its users over the last three months. The data was posted on a research website of AOL’s. “This was a screw-up, and we’re angry and upset about it. It was an innocent enough attempt to reach out to the academic community with new research tools, but it was obviously not appropriately vetted, and if it had been, it would have been stopped in an instant.” says AOL. No IPs or AOL user IDs were in the log files, just a hash form of their user ID or something like that. However when someone searches for “Ford 150 parts”, “” and then something related to a crime they’re about to commit or have committed, it would give police a large clue who did it. AOL claimed it as an accident, but it just as well could have been an attempt to out due google. That would have been a pretty big mistake =). Anyways I have a mirror of the log’s around 439 MBs big. Sorry if there is a slow download, you’re not the only one downloading it =). I suggest using grep to search the log file, most editors can’t handle it. Windows grep. Linux grep.

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