Although a security researcher has confirmed that LinkedIn users’ data, including full names, gender, email addresses, telephone numbers, and industry information is for sale on RaidForums by a hacker self-dubbed “GOD User TomLiner,” LinkedIn has stated that it is not from a data breach of its networks. According to LinkedIn, “[O]ur initial analysis indicates that the dataset includes information scraped from LinkedIn as well as information obtained from other sources….This was not a LinkedIn data breach and our investigation has determined that no private LinkedIn member data was exposed….”
No matter how the data ended up for sale on a hacker forum, if you are a LinkedIn user, you should be aware of it, and understand how that information can be used against you. Having valid email addresses and telephone numbers give hackers and scammers the ability to use them for targeting phishing and vishing schemes and other social engineering scams. In addition, the information can be used to compile dossiers and aggregated with other publicly available information for targeted campaigns.
As a precaution, security experts are suggesting that LinkedIn users update their passwords and enable multi-factor authentication on their LinkedIn accounts.