LinkedIn is the latest victim of a massive data breach and data of over 500 million of its users has been scraped from the platform and posted online for sale. The dataset includes sensitive information like email addresses, phone numbers, workplace information, full names, account IDs, links to their social media accounts, and gender details. The breached data is reportedly being sold by an unknown user on a hacker forum, who has dumped data of over two million users as sample proof. The hacker is asking for a four-digit amount (in USD) in exchange for the breached data, potentially in the form of Bitcoins. This comes just days after a similarly massive leak of scraped data from over 500 million Facebook users was leaked.
Misuse and Ransom
An archive containing data purportedly scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles has been put for sale on a popular hacker forum, with another 2 million records leaked as a proof-of-concept sample by the post author. The four leaked files contain information about the LinkedIn users whose data has been allegedly scraped by the threat actor, including their full names, email addresses, phone numbers, workplace information, and more. While users on the hacker forum can view the leaked samples for about $2 worth of forum credits, the threat actor appears to be auctioning the much-larger 500 million user database for at least a 4-digit sum, presumably in bitcoin.
What’s the impact of the data leak?
The data from the leaked files can be used by threat actors against LinkedIn users in multiple ways by:
- Carrying out targeted phishing attacks.
- Spamming 500 million emails and phone numbers.
- Brute-forcing the passwords of LinkedIn profiles and email addresses.
The leaked files appear to only contain LinkedIn profile information. Any deeply sensitive data like credit card details or legal documents were not present in the sample posted by the threat actor. With that said, even an email address can be enough for a competent cybercriminal to cause real damage. Particularly determined attackers can combine information found in the leaked files with other data breaches in order to create detailed profiles of their potential victims. With such information in hand, they can stage much more convincing phishing and social engineering attacks or even commit identity theft against the people whose information has been exposed on the hacker forum.
LinkedIn facing a probe from Italy’s privacy watchdog Following “the dissemination of user data, including IDs, full names, email addresses, telephone numbers” by the threat actor, Italy’s privacy watchdog began an investigation into the incident on Thursday. The Italian authority said that the country has one of the highest LinkedIn subscriber counts among European states and called on affected users to “pay particular attention to any anomalies” related to their phone number and their account. Next steps If you suspect that your LinkedIn profile data might have been scraped by threat actors, we recommend you: – Subscribe to sites like “Have I Been Pwned” for notifications if your email address is part of a data breach. – Beware of suspicious LinkedIn messages and connection requests from strangers. – Change the password of your LinkedIn and email accounts. – Consider using a password manager to create strong passwords and store them securely. – Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on all your online accounts. – Watch out for potential phishing emails and text messages. Don’t click on anything suspicious or respond to anyone you don’t know.
To know more reach out to Tsaaro