Online privacy firm alleges data breach of 700 mn LinkedIn users, co denies


LinkedIn has suffered a massive data breach, allegedly affecting 700 million users, but the company has denied any private data used to be exposed.

The breach used to be reported by RestorePrivacy, an online portal focused on online privacy and security related news. According to the website, a user of a popular hacker forum advertised data from 700 million LinkedIn users for sale on June 22.

The user of the forum posted a pattern of the data that includes 1 million LinkedIn users, which includes data such as email addresses, full names, phone numbers, physical addresses, geolocation records, LinkedIn username and profile URL and other information.

In a post on its website on Tuesday, LinkedIn said, “Our teams have investigated a set of alleged LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale. We wish to be lucid that this isn’t a data breach and no private LinkedIn member data used to be exposed. Our initial investigation has found that this data used to be scraped from LinkedIn and other more than a few websites and includes the same data reported earlier this year in our April 2021 scraping update.”

Scraping is essentially the process of the usage of an application to extract valuable information from a website.

In contact scraping, which is what happened at LinkedIn in April, the entity responsible has perhaps scraped locations like an online employee directory. By doing so, a scraper is in a position to aggregate contact details for bulk mailing lists, robo calls, or malicious social engineering attempts. This is among the primary methods both spammers and scammers use to find new targets.

“Members agree with LinkedIn with their data, and any misuse of our members’ data, such as scraping, violates LinkedIn terms of service. When anyone tries to take member data and use it for purposes LinkedIn and our members haven’t agreed to, we work to stop them and hold them accountable,” LinkedIn said in its remark.

LinkedIn had a user base of 71 million in India in 2019, its second highest.

“Data shared online by users on more than a few applications is as vulnerable as the application they’re the usage of. Any vulnerability of the application or its API, may lead to breach of your data. Users must observe a zero agree with policy and don’t share any confidential data on any public platforms. Enable 2FA and change passwords ceaselessly. Do not accept connections who aren’t known to you and limit the information that you share with your connections too. It is our data and hence we wish to take additional steps to retain our data protected,” said Sonit Jain, CEO of GajShield Infotech.

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