Feeds

LinkedIn dials 911 on password mega-leak hackers

Biz network still silent on spate of spam

High performance access to file storage

LinkedIn has turned to the FBI for help after 6.5 million of its users' passwords were dumped online by hackers.

The business network said "a small subset" of the hashed data had been deduced and revealed, but the rest is "hard to decode". Security biz Sophos estimated that as much as 60 per cent of the leaked list had been cracked.

It is relatively trivial to work out the original passwords from the unsalted SHA-1 hashes, and LinkedIn has tacitly reiterated that it is upping its database security by sprinkling in some cryptographic salt.

The social network for suits is still silent on what other information the hackers may have lifted. It gave a somewhat slippery statement to the effect that punters' email addresses have not been revealed - as far as it knows - which doesn't answer the question of whether or not that information was stolen.

"To the best of our knowledge, no email logins associated with the passwords have been published, nor have we received any verified reports of unauthorised access to any member’s account as a result of this event," the company stated in a blog post.

Yesterday, members reported that they were being inundated with spam and phishing emails pretending to originate from LinkedIn, which would suggest that their email addresses had been stolen or that the hackers still had access to the network's databases.

LinkedIn has yet to return today's or yesterday's requests from The Register for comment on the spam. The company said on its blog that users whose passwords were leaked had had their accounts locked down for now, but also said it was going to cancel other passwords as well.

"As a precautionary measure, we are disabling the passwords of any other members that we believe could potentially be affected," it said, without giving the criteria for how LinkedIn will figure out which accounts might be in trouble.

Any members who need to come up with yet another new password will be told to do so by email, but there will be no links in the email to click - just the instructions of what to do next.

LinkedIn said it was still looking into things and was also helping law enforcement with its investigation of the breach.

Meanwhile, dating site eHarmony and music site Last.fm have also reported hack attacks in which user passwords were nicked. eHarmony users say they are being spammed as well, although again only passwords have been confirmed stolen by the site. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.