Data leak: 500mn LinkedIn profiles scrapped & put for sale

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The American professional networking platform LinkedIn has become the latest to get into the cybersecurity controversy following a similar occurrence involving the social media giant Facebook reported last week.

As per reports, data from more than 500 million profiles of LinkedIn are being sold online to hackers. The list of scraped details includes user IDs, full names, email addresses, gender, phone numbers, professional titles, and other work-related data.

There is an archive of nearly 500 million LinkedIn users that have been scraped from the site and put up on sale. The report further noted that another 2 million records have been leaked as a proof-of-concept sample under which it mentions the 500 million profile bank. 

The hacker has put up a price of around $2 to view the leaked samples of 2 million users and for the 500 million profiles, the hacker has asked for a 4-digit amount which is expected to be in Bitcoin, the report added.

Meanwhile LinkedIn in its response to the leak, stated that the hacked data is actually public information, “We have investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale and have determined that it is actually an aggregation of data from several websites and companies. It does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn.”

The Microsoft-owned platform affirmed that it did not suffer a data breach involving hackers penetrating the company’s internal databases to draw information. Instead, the bad actors scraped the data from LinkedIn’s public-facing service, similar to a recent cybersecurity incident at Facebook. The company further noted that data scraping violates its terms of services, and it will work on holding the person responsible for this. 

Related: Details were ‘scraped’ not ‘hacked’; Facebook downplays data leak