As many as 6 million LinkedIn passwords have been hacked. According to news reports, hackers posted a file containing the passwords in encryption onto a Russian web forum, thereby making it public. They invited the hacking community to help them with decryption.
LinkedIn has more than 150 million users. LinkedIn has immediately tightened up their security by permitted existing users to log in only after confirming their email address.
It was found that after the hacking, the users of LinkedIn whose information was stolen began receiving email scams for phishing. Emails that were designed to look as if send by a social networking website were used for phishing. It asked users to confirm their email address by clicking a link. The link took the person to a site selling counterfeit drugs.
Apart from LinkedIn, dating website, e-Harmony, was also attacked by hackers. They admitted that a small number of its users’ passwords have been leaked when Ars Technica reported that around 1.5 millions passwords of e-Harmony were hacked.
e-Harmony said it will reset the passwords of the affected users and send them instructions on how to set new passwords. LinkedIn has also said that it will email the affected users and inform them how they can change their passwords.
Security analysts have said that the scale of the breach can be higher than is acknowledged because they have not talked about duplicate individual passwords. The list of more than 6 million passwords does not include how many times a password was used by consumers. If passwords are common are used by more of LinkedIn users, then the scale of the hack goes up.
The hacking was made possible because the company updated its mobile apps due to a privacy flaw. According to a new report, the mobile app was sending unencrypted calendar entries to LinkedIn servers without users’ knowledge. LinkeIn has said that it would no longer send data from the meeting notes section of users’ calendar.
The hacking of LinkedIn passwords has raised concerns about the safety of users’ data on social networking sites.