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A massive LinkedIn data breach has affected over 700 million accounts

Luckily, private data, like passwords and credit card information, remain protected.

linkedin on phone
Image: LinkedIn

It certainly hasn’t been a great first half of the year for LinkedIn in terms of security breaches. Just a few months ago, the company became the target of hackers, with a data leak of over 500 million users’ information. Now, the company has been hit again, with a hacker posting more than 700 million users’ data from the social platform for sale on a dark web forum.

Initially reported by PrivacySharks, the leak came in the form of a hacker, codenamed Tom Liner, posting a massive list of compiled user data from LinkedIn’s user profiles. A sample list of 1 million users’ data was provided to confirm the legitimacy of the hacker’s claims.

The information found in this massive list consists of full names, genders, email addresses, phone numbers, and industry information. Fortunately, no private information, such as passwords, were compromised, though this data was certainly scraped from both public and private profiles. LinkedIn has issued a statement, confirming the legitimacy of the information, but ensuring users that no sensitive information was obtained:

“While we’re still investigating this issue, our initial analysis indicates that the dataset includes information scraped from LinkedIn as well as information obtained from other sources. This was not a LinkedIn data breach and our investigation has determined that no private LinkedIn member data was exposed. Scraping data from LinkedIn is a violation of our Terms of Service and we are constantly working to ensure our members’ privacy is protected.”

Although most sensitive information on the site was protected, data like this could still be very dangerous in the hands of the right hackers. With email addresses and phone numbers, some hackers will be able to pinpoint some of that sensitive information and even steal users’ identities.

If you are a LinkedIn user, it may be a good time to go ahead and change your password to ensure the best security possible. Though passwords weren’t part of this breach, who’s to say there’s not another list of compiled data on its way to being sold on the dark web. Better safe than sorry.

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