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Hacker puts up personal data half a billion LinkedIn profiles up for sale

Half a billion linkedin profiles has been leaked

Among the information included in this large file, the names, email addresses, telephone numbers, or even employers of users of the social network.

They are currently raising the stakes. Hackers, whose identity and concrete motivations remain unknown, have put the data of 500 million users of the professional social network LinkedIn for sale on a forum. Minimum bid: $ 1,000.

According to the specialized site, at the origin of this discovery, the equivalent of a trial offer is offered on the site, to prove the value of the file: a sample of 2 million users is also put up for sale, for 2 dollars. Otherwise, the data is split into four large files.

Names, email addresses, phone numbers, professional background, positions held and employers, accounts created on other social networks … all the information made publicly accessible on the network has fed into this database.

LinkedIn refutes in this case the fact of having been hacked. The hackers at the origin of this file came to devote themselves to a well-known technique: “scraping”, which makes it possible to automatically collect information publicly accessible online. In this case, those of nearly two-thirds of current LinkedIn users. The network indeed claims 740 million users.

An investigation opened in Italy

The company has confirmed the existence of this large file. It now indicates that it has launched an investigation into the subject and into this data collection practice which violates its terms of use. The file was created through “an aggregation of data from a number of sites and companies. It includes publicly visible information on LinkedIn user profiles, which appear to have been scrapped,” summarizes the group.

Already at the end of March, a database of nearly 11 million French LinkedIn users had been stolen from a marketing company. The most recent incident at LinkedIn is similar to the data breach at Facebook.

Due to the “scraping” of publicly accessible online information, the telephone numbers of half a billion people network users, including 20 million French people, are currently circulating on the Internet. Even though these numbers were still sold on the Telegram messaging app a few weeks ago, they are now available for free.

Unlike LinkedIn, however, Facebook was the victim of this massive collection of data following a security breach in its systems.

In both cases, the risks are the same for users: being exposed to an upsurge of scams of all kinds, by SMS or email, including phishing attempts, to better extort sensitive data and bank details, or even hacking attempts. Faced with the size of the LinkedIn file, and the number of Italians concerned, the Italian data protection authority announced on April 8.

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