LinkedIn reassures users that their information is secure


June 14, 2012

Professional social networking site LinkedIn has moved to assure users that their information is secure, following a highly-publicised security breach earlier this month.

“By now, many of you have read recent headlines reporting that 6.5 million LinkedIn hashed passwords were stolen and published on an unauthorised website,” wrote LinkedIn director Vicente Silveira, in a blog post dated June 9.

“We take this criminal activity very seriously so we are working closely with the FBI as they aggressively pursue the perpetrators of this crime.”

Silveira pointed out that no usernames were paired with the leaked passwords, and claimed that he has received no reports of accounts being breached as yet.

He also claimed that LinkedIn recently upgraded its security protocols. Stored passwords are now hashed and salted in order to provide an extra layer of protection, a commonly recognised best-practice in the security industry.

Following the breach, many experts criticised the LinkedIn team for not taking more care in guarding user information.

LinkedIn has responded by pointing out that all compromised passwords were deactivated immediately and that all users whose information was put at risk have been contacted.

However Andrew Conway, from security website CloudMark, is reporting that four per cent of affected LinkedIn users incorrectly marked that email as spam, and did not take heed of the instructions it contained.

Even minor security breaches can have a major impact on a business’s reputation. Customers expect complete security when operating in the online environment and it is the responsibility of the company to ensure its private information is safe.

Penetration testing is often a good way to fully evaluate the security protocols that your business has in place, by finding any potential backdoors and access points before they are exploited by cyber criminals.

Blogger Vincenzo Cosenza recently released his world map of social network popularity, and found LinkedIn to be the second most popular online networking option in Australia, behind only Facebook.

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