The business networking site LinkedIn has become the latest to fall victim to hackers, with an estimated 6.5 million accounts unscrupulously accessed recently by hackers.
Reports suggest that Russian hackers crowd-sourced help from the worldwide hacking community in order to break the encryption methods used at LinkedIn, gaining them access to millions of accounts. The result: somewhere in the region of 6.5 million account passwords leaked online.
The passwords thankfully aren’t attached to the usernames of each account, although analysts have already predicted that the hackers may already have this information, and are withholding it to either use themselves or to sell on to just about anyone.
Currently LinkedIn claims it has around 150 million registered users, so the percentage of accounts affected is thankfully quite small – although 6.5 million is still a huge and worrying number when it comes to this sort of thing.
The hackers claims are not unfounded either, with several users already checking and confirming issues with their accounts. Various security firms have checked the data that was posted on a Russian forum earlier this week, and have confirmed that the hashed data contains passwords related to LinkedIn accounts.
This latest security issue comes shortly after LinkedIn was forced to update its mobile calendar app after users reported it was sending calendar data without any form of encryption. The app has since been updated to patch this flaw, but a new security vulnerability is only going to put the pressure back on.
Gadget Helpline advises all LinkedIn users to change their passwords at the earliest available opportunity, and if you use the same password for other accounts, change those passwords too.
LinkedIn has not issued a full statement, but has confirmed it is looking into the issue.
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