Professional social network “invalidates” affected passwords, but says there has been no new breach
LinkedIn has invalidated the passwords belonging to accounts that could have been included in an alleged database of more than 100 million credentials put up for sale and has reassured users their information remains safe.
A hacker going by the handle ‘Peace’ claimed to have the information of 117 million LinkedIn accounts, including email addresses and passwords, for sale for five bitcoins. It is thought the credentials were gained during an attack on the site in 2012.
Following this, a separate site claimed to have up to 167 million account details in its database, although LinkedIn confirmed today that no new breach on its database had taken place.
“Yesterday, we became aware of an additional set of data that had just been released that claims to be email and hashed password combinations of more than 100 million LinkedIn members from that same theft in 2012,” LinkedIn CISO Cory Scott wrote in a blog post.
“We are taking immediate steps to invalidate the passwords of the accounts impacted, and we will contact those members to reset their passwords.
“We have no indication that this is as a result of a new security breach.”
Following reports that additional details were also now on sale, Scott confirmed that LinkedIn has begun to invalidate passwords for all accounts created prior to the 2012 breach that haven’t updated their password since that breach, and that the site will be contacting individual members if they need to reset their password.
“We take the safety and security of our members’ accounts seriously,” he added. “For several years, we have hashed and salted every password in our database, and we have offered protection tools such as email challenges and dual factor authentication.”
LinkedIn has been criticised across the security industry for its lax approach to user protection, with the company apparently underestimating just how big the 2012 breach was.
The social network also apologised and enlisted the help of the FBI in the matter, but that did not stop a class action lawsuit, which ultimately cost LinkedIn $1.25m (£810,000) in settlements last year..
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