AOL appears to be the latest large Internet company to have personal information compromised. The announcement leaves many questions over the security of the Internet as a whole, as well as companies like AOL who claim to have the strictest security in the industry.
It comes on the heels of continued worries over the Heartbleed Bug, which infected millions of websites and could have breached the personal data of millions of users across the globe, including financial information, which has led to a backlash against the giving of private information by consumers.
"The ongoing investigation of this serious criminal activity is our top priority," AOL said. "Our security team has put enhanced protective measures in place and we urge our users to take proactive steps to help ensure the security of their accounts."
The New York-based company did however say that they do not believe any encrypted information or passwords of users were compromised in the breach and the company is currently continuing to investigate the matter.
The company did admit that a number of users have had their information taken, although they said that has only included email addresses, postal addresses and contact information, while the unauthorized breach has yet to be named.
It added that they believe only around two percent of all users' emails or other information was taken by the spammers.
"These emails do not originate from the sender's email or email service provider - the addresses are just edited to make them appear that way," AOL stated.
With ongoing fears over Internet security on the rise across the country and the globe, many users are questioning the continued use of personal information by large online companies or websites, including financial data and private personal information after reports have suggested that companies, including AOL, Facebook, Google, Apple and others have been categorizing information and selling it to the government or potential advertisers for profit.
With this latest breach of information, it highlights what many experts say is the need for an overhaul of the web and how companies are using personal information without the express written permission of users beyond "agreements" that are posted by the companies.
AOL, which had been a leader in the email and messaging services a decade ago has largely moved into a company that looks at online advertising and user information as the source of their income.