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How embarrassing: High-powered tech executive, elected officials and celebrities still use AOL

AOL is a relic of past times, so why do important people continue to use it? 

Add a billionaire Silicon Valley titan to the growing list of public figures victimized by the hacker “Guccifer.”

Venture capitalist John Doerr had his AOL account breached several days ago by the same hacker responsible for illegally accessing the e-mails of Colin Powell, former White House aide Sidney Blumenthal, and assorted Bush family members (among others).

Doerr, 61, is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the powerhouse venture capital firm. Doerr, whose net worth Forbes pegs at $2.7 billion, has worked closely with firms like Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Groupon, and has been a member of Google’s board of directors since May 1999.

During his months-long spree, “Guccifer” has employed a series of “burner” e-mail accounts, and has also sent correspondence while “inside” e-mail accounts he has breached (including those of Doerr; John Negroponte, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and the wife of a Hollywood actor).

Doerr is not the first Kleiner Perkins figure to be victimized by the hacker. Powell has served as a “strategic adviser” to the firm since July 2005. After breaching the former Secretary of State’s AOL account earlier this month, “Guccifer” had access to correspondence from Kleiner Perkins partners and even confidential tax documents provided to Powell by the firm. Source: Billionaire Google Board Member Is Latest Victim Of "Guccifer" Hacking Rampage | The Smoking Gun

Bottom line …

Hard to believe that tech gurus, elected officials and celebrities do not employ their own dedicated and secure e-mail servers. It is also embarrassing that all of the tech gurus at the NSA and in the cyber-crime units of storied intelligence agencies are not able to curb the breaches – which says something about the way e-mail servers are secured or the lack of user attention to adopting stronger measures to protect their e-mail.

Since a portion of the government’s business is thought to be carried on private e-mail accounts to circumvent the archival rules of public documents, does this not present a clear and present danger to both government and business.

-- steve


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