Feeds

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

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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]. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?