LinkedIn experienced a massive hacking four years ago, what initially seemed to be a theft of 6.5 million passwords has revealed itself to be a breach of nearly 117 million.
Last Wednesday the professional social network revealed that the massive compromise of login credentials were being sold on the black market. The largest problem with this breach is not the credentials to LinkedIn itself, but the common occurrence for users to reuse their passwords for email and bank accounts.
LinkedIn’s advice for everyone using the service is to change your password and add two-factor authentication to your account — requiring a text message when logging in from a new computer.
This reopens old wounds for LinkedIn, due to their old security policies the hijacked passwords are easy for hackers to decrypt in a matter of days.
At the time of the 2012 data breach LinkedIn hadn’t integrated a pivotal layer of security that makes the jumbled text more difficult to decode.
With LinkedIn on the back foot, they are desperately attempting to halt the spread of this information. Their success is not likely as it can often be an impractical task.
A damning question being asked now is why it took so long for LinkedIn to discover the magnitude of the breach. Leaving largely only two possibilities, incompetence or intentional secrecy.
“If LinkedIn is only now discovering the scale of data that was exfiltrated from their systems, what went wrong with the forensic analysis that should have discovered this?”
said Brad Taylor, CEO of cybersecurity firm Proficio.
In its defense, LinkedIn offered a strong statement:
“We take the safety and security of our members’ accounts seriously,” wrote Cory Scott, the company’s chief information security officer.
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