There is hardly a professional out there who does not have an elaborate profile over LinkedIn. After all, it has been the go-to platform for professionals, whether it’s showcasing one’s skills, seeking jobs or seeking human talent.
Well, it has been a very rough day for the employment-related services goliath. A massive data breach has come to light, one that has exposed the personal records of a whopping 700 million users who have LinkedIn profiles.
This mind-boggling figure makes up nearly 92% of the platform’s total user base of nearly 756 million. The chain of disturbing news does not stop just here, as the breached data includes sensitive and personal information of LinkedIn users.
Breached records include telephone numbers, addresses, location data and wait for it, even the inferred salaries these professionals may have been drawing from their jobs. As if this wasn’t enough, the data is also up for grabs to the highest bidder over the dark web.
For those of us who might be wondering how does the dark web work and sustain itself, well, it is massive data breaches like these which are to be blamed. The “confident” hacker responsible for this breach has released nearly a million records, just as a sample.
Independent analysis of these sample records has revealed two further very disturbing facts. Firstly, the breached data is quite accurate and secondly, the breached data up for sale on the dark web is fresh, as it pertains to the years 2020 and 2021.
While we won’t be able to get to the bottom of this massive data breach as well, it is widely believed that the official LinkedIn API was misused to download this entire data. So far, the only sigh of relief in this entire fiasco is that the breached data does not contain passwords.
The nature of the information contained in the breached data set can potentially be used for identity theft and a host of other forms of cyber misconduct. This massive breach is yet another stark reminder that both we and such platforms must take security seriously.