Millions of LinkedIn users’ personal details have allegedly been leaked on a popular hacking forum.
According to CyberNews, a data archive apparently scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles has been put up for sale online.
To prove that the data is legitimate, the poster has included nearly 2 million records as a sample, which forum members can view for $2 worth of forum credits.
The leaked records include user names, phone numbers, email addresses, links to other social media profiles and users’ workplace details. The data, however, does not appear to contain credit card details, legal documents or other financial information that could be used for fraud.
The hacker who posted the data is asking for a minimum “four-digit” sum for access to the full 500 million-user database.
CyberNews confirmed that the data in the sample was scraped from LinkedIn, although it is still unclear if the leaked files contain up-to-date information, or if it was taken from a previous breach.
The lack of financial information in the leaked database does not mean that it is not dangerous. Hackers could use the data to create detailed profiles of potential victims and then conduct targeted phishing or social engineering attacks. They could also use the information to spam emails and phone numbers, or brute-force the passwords of LinkedIn profiles and associated email addresses.
Researchers are advising users to take precautionary measures to protect their accounts and data from hackers. Users who suspect that their LinkedIn profile data might have been compromised should immediately change the password of their LinkedIn and email accounts, and remain vigilant for potential phishing emails.
This is not the first time that a data breach has affected LinkedIn users. In 2012, hackers were able to steal password hashes of nearly 170 million LinkedIn users. The data initially stayed in private hands before eventually appearing on the dark web in 2016.
The newest LinkedIn leak comes days after the personal details of half a billion Facebook users had leaked online. The exposed data contained the personal details of more than 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 44 million records on users in Egypt, 39 million in Tunisia, 32 million in the USA and 11 million in the UK.