After facebook, 500 million LinkedIn users’ data was leaked online

According to the company, approximately 500 million LinkedIn user profiles are included in a database for sale on a prominent hacker website.

CyberNews, a cybersecurity news, and analysis platform, first announced the selling of the data on Tuesday, saying that an archive containing user IDs, names, email addresses, phone numbers, genders, professional titles, and ties to other social networking accounts was being auctioned off on the forum for a four-figure amount.

The database for sale, according to LinkedIn, “is simply an aggregation of data from a variety of websites and businesses.” According to a Thursday statement from the professional social media platform, the data from LinkedIn users only contains details that people listed publicly in their profiles, which Microsoft operates.

“This is not a LinkedIn data breach, and no private member account data from LinkedIn was included in what we’ve been able to review,” the company said.

The news comes just days after another incident. Data scraped from more than 500 million Facebook users in 2019 — including phone numbers, birthdays, emails, and other material — was publicly released on a hacker-used website. While this type of data is less sensitive than, say, credit card information or social security numbers, bad actors can also be used, even for robocall scams.

According to its website, LinkedIn has over 675 million subscribers, implying that about three-quarters of its users’ details could be included in the database.

While social media platforms have tools in place to avoid scrapers — LinkedIn’s terms page outlines “technical precautions and protections” against such abuse — they don’t always function.

According to the organization, “any abuse of our members’ data, such as scraping,” violates its terms of service, which forbids the use of third-party apps, bots, browser extensions, or plug-ins that scrape data from the web.

“If someone attempts to take member data and use it for reasons LinkedIn and our members have not agreed to, we work to stop them and keep them responsible,” LinkedIn said in a statement.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it would notify users whose data was scraped and available for sale in the database.

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