Feeds

LinkedIn faces class action suit over password leak

People can take data from us, but not money

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

LinkedIn is facing a class action suit over the security breach that saw millions of users' passwords posted online.

Illinois resident Katie Szpyrka leads the complaint, which alleges that LinkedIn failed to "properly safeguard its users' personally identifiable information".

The complaint filed in California accuses the business network of using a "weak encryption format" for users' information and not having crucial security measures in place.

A LinkedIn spokesperson told The Register that the class action suit's claims were "without merit".

"No member account has been breached as a result of the incident, and we have no reason to believe that any LinkedIn member has been injured," the company said. "Therefore, it appears that these threats are driven by lawyers looking to take advantage of the situation.

"We believe these claims are without merit, and we will defend the company vigorously against suits trying to leverage third-party criminal behaviour."

The 6.5 million user passwords hacked and posted online were in hashed format, but the biz site evidently had not applied any salts. Salting adds extra arbitrary data to a password when it is hashed, thwarting pre-generated tables and making life more difficult for password crackers. The class action suit claims that hashing without salting is not an "industry standard protocol" as promised by LinkedIn's privacy policy.

"Despite its contractual obligation to use best practices in storing user data, LinkedIn failed to utilise basic industry standard encryption methods. In particular, LinkedIn failed to adequately protect user data because it stored passwords in unsalted SHA1 hashed format," the filing said, branding SHA1 "outdated".

The case also latches on to reports that LinkedIn was hacked through an SQL injection attack, which uses weaknesses in a company's website to get into its back-end systems.

"If true, LinkedIn's failure to adequately protect its website against SQL injection attacks - in conjunction with improperly securing its users' personally identifiable information - would demonstrate that the company employed a troubling lack of security measures," the complaint said.

Naturally, the class action suit is looking for attorney fees and damages for US members of LinkedIn. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.