Feeds

Data scrapers used Amazon cloud to reap biz bods' CVs, wails LinkedIn

Files lawsuit to demand identities of 'John Does' from shopping giant

3 Big data security analytics techniques

LinkedIn is still waging its battle against “scrapers”, who use software to automatically harvest publicly available personal information from the social network.

And that fight has today wound up in a California court where the website's bosses are trying to unmask the miscreants who have reaped the site for users' employment histories and other data.

According to the filing against 10 "John Does" in the US District Court, Northern District of California, the attackers circumvented anti-abuse technologies in LinkedIn's setup – in particular, the technology known as FUSE, which limits the amount of activity on the network a single account can carry out before being blocked.

LinkedIn alleged the scrapers did this by using Amazon's EC2 cloud “to rent virtual computers on which to run their own computer programs and applications".

"Amazon EC2 provides resizable computing capacity ... The Doe defendants used Amazon EC2 to create virtual machines to run automated bots to scrape data from LinkedIn's website”, the complaint alleges.

The scraping took place in May and June, we're told, and LinkedIn says the miscreants used their AWS accounts to create “thousands” of fake profiles (along the way, managing to defeat its CAPTCHAs) to conduct the scraping.

Other security measures the attackers circumvented included “Sentinel”, which limits the number of requests permitted from a single IP address, and the restrictions on crawling that are implemented in its robots.txt file.

LinkedIn hopes that, by bringing the matter to court and triggering a discovery phase, it will be able to force Amazon to hand over identifying information on who created the AWS EC2 accounts.

The full complaint – which alleges counts of computer fraud and abuse; violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; breach of contract; and trespass – is here to read [PDF]. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
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
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.