And Today's Cyber Attack Award Goes to LinkedIn, as News Breaks that Users' Passwords are Now Compromised

By Jamie Epstein June 06, 2012

Oh social network phenomenon LinkedIn, whatever are we going to with you? The extremely popular website that boasts 150 million users worldwide and is known for helping you to connect with colleagues and potential employers is just the latest company to be thrown into the hacking spotlight, as early this morning it was reported that the site has been penetrated by tech-savvy individuals and they have successfully gained access to approximately six and a half million passwords.

Although still not officially spoken about by the company, sources are saying that a Russian-based group is responsible for this and that although these passwords have been encrypted, with the right tools in place, they were still able to be infiltrated.

In addition to the overwhelming amount of passwords that people are now scrambling to replace, around 300,000 of these supposedly private combinations of letters, numbers and symbols have already been cracked, according to an article on Tech Now.

Dave Pack, director of LogRhythm Labs said in a statement, “Without specific details of the attack, it’s difficult to determine exactly what could have been done to help protect the sensitive data. However, most database breaches are the result of a vulnerable Web application front end being exploited utilizing SQL injection. According to our research, it is extremely common for successful attackers to utilize automated SQL injection tools such as sqlmap or Havij. Such tools leave behind a log trail on the web server which at first glance makes the attack appear complex, but also makes it easy to detect. For example, by default these tools put their own names into the User Agent (UA) String of the http requests they make. UA whitelisting/blacklisting can be utilized to ensure automated SQL injection tools are immediately identified should they be used to perform Web application reconnaissance or launch an attack.”

“In addition, these tools put quite a bit of SQL syntax into URL parameters. Most Web applications have no legitimate need for SQL in the actual URLs. Alarming on this syntax along with encoded variations will detect both automated tool usage as well as manual Web application attacks. As soon as an attacker is identified by one of these methods their IP address should be blocked, preferably in an automated fashion. Everything that is needed to identify and stop an attack of this nature is all right there in as little as a single log entry on the Web server,” he added.

In response to the attack, Ulistic issued a PSA to all LinkedIn users that advised them to change their passwords post haste in which the company stated, “LinkedIn may have a bit of an issue to deal with. They are investigating that potentially over six million password have been compromised. Ulistic recommends that you change your LinkedIn password immediately and inform both clients and associates about this potential breach.”

Security Researcher Cameron Camp of ESET, a security company, also weighed in with his opinion stating, “The difference with this hack, as opposed to many others, is that people put their REAL information about themselves professionally on the site, not just what party they plan on attending, ala Facebook and others. And every time one of your LinkedIn contacts updates their profile, you get updates from LinkedIn showing what’s happening. This has the aggregate effect of garnering a form of peer review on what you post about yourself, knowing that it is exposed potentially to those business or career contacts that have a direct impact on your life. In other words, mess with somebody’s professional profile, and you’re messing with their life, and their contacts know about it.

Stay glued to TMCNet as more developments in this story are unveiled!




Edited by Rachel Ramsey

TechZone360 Web Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

What If You Could Speak to a Holocaust Survivor? Now You Can

By: Alicia Young    4/28/2017

The USC Shoah Foundation was founded by Steven Spielberg in 1994 to document first-hand accounts of the Holocaust for future generations. Since then, …

Read More

Russian Hacker Receives Record-Breaking Prison Sentence

By: Alicia Young    4/27/2017

Roman Valeryevich Seleznev was sentenced to 27 years in prison last week in the U.S. for stealing millions of credit card details from businesses.

Read More

Microsoft Brings New Talent to LinkedIn, Dynamics 365

By: Steve Anderson    4/27/2017

Microsoft gunning for a place in the human capital management sphere with new application, and the addition of Dynamics 365 to LinkedIn.

Read More

Four Tips for Untouchable Intellectual Property

By: Anna Johansson    4/26/2017

Intellectual property is considered an intangible asset and can include things like recipe ingredients, articles, logos, and proprietary systems and p…

Read More

Is it Time for Someone to Clean Slate a Gaming Console?

By: Rob Enderle    4/24/2017

I've been looking at a lot of the comments on game review articles and forums of late, and gamers appear to be disappointed that the games aren't gett…

Read More