December 5, 2022

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Very alarming and concerning news has just been dropped on the users of one of the largest employment/business-oriented services, LinkedIn. The sources have revealed that the hackers have managed to scrape the information of over 500 million users from the LinkedIn platform.

The shocking part is that the scraped data is now for sale on a website, which is best known as a hub for hackers. Right after the reports surrounding the scrapping of the data, LinkedIn officials did confirm them in an official statement on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

The firm that first reported the incident of the information being sold through the hacking website was CyberNews. CyberNews is a prominent research site and cybersecurity news platform that had first reported the incident back on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

At that time, CyberNews revealed what kind of information was being auctioned off through the website. According to the firm, the information being auctioned were user genders, phone numbers, email addresses, names, and user IDs. On top of that, the data also contained the designation/job title of the users along with links to their profiles on other social media platforms.

Following the reports, LinkedIn has tried explaining where all the data surrounding the users are coming from. The firm has revealed that the data being auctioned is the aggregation of information that the hackers have managed to acquire from a number of companies and websites.

The firm has clarified that the data also includes the information that the users had posted publicly through their profiles. The clarification from LinkedIn’s end was provided against the auctioning of the data on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

LinkedIn officials have confirmed that the data being auctioned does not belong to or has been scraped from LinkedIn. The firm has also explained that no personal or private data of the users has been scraped by the hackers through the platform.

This is not the first time that a social media platform has been held responsible for letting hackers steal the personal and sensitive information of users.

Prior to LinkedIn, it was Facebook that was recently revealed to have had the personal data of more than half a billion users stolen through its platform. At that time, it was reported that the information that was released on a hacking forum included emails, birthdays, phone numbers, and other information.

Although, this particular information is not as sensitive or critical as credit cards or social security numbers, still, phone numbers and other information can be used by the bad actors for exploitation.

As of now, the total number of users on the LinkedIn platform is around 675 million. This means that more than three-quarters of the users’ information has been scraped by the hackers for auctioning.

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