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Technology

LinkedIn’s major data breach

LinkedIn is attempting to handle a little PR crisis in light of reports that millions of user passwords have been compromised 

In a recent post, LinkedIn director, Vincente Silveira encouraged users to follow specific guidelines for secure passwords. It seems, though, based on an article from ComputerWorld.com that it was LinkedIn who wasn’t following “best practices” when it comes to protecting users passwords. The security breach could reportedly lead to more targeted phishing attacks.

News of this incident was announced earlier today (Wednesday) morning, but that is not all there is to the story.

LinkedIn has also been accused of doing a little “privacy breaching” of their own. (Read more)

Although the company claims that information in their iOS Calendar app for Android and iPhone is sent securing over their serves, the recent security breach has people questioning their practices.

So how is LinkedIn handling the PR blunder?

From the information I have found online it seems that LinkedIn did the following (after the initial report of the passwords being leaked):

  • LinkedIn did not confirm the reports, but rather said they were investigating the incident in which an estimated 6.5 million passwords had been compromised. This meant that users could only sit and wait, and possibly find that their information had been hacked. During this time bloggers and media outlets continue to cover the incident in a not-so positive light.
  • LinkedIn released information about their iOS app, including what it does and does not do.
  • Around noon, LinkedIn tweeted that reports were still unconfirmed and posted information to their blog regarding the possible security breach.
  • LinkedIn announced that they would be notifying people who’s account information had been stolen via email. LinkedIn also vowed to rework their iOS app so that it would no longer record information from the notes section of users’ calendars.
On the surface, it seems that LinkedIn did the basics to keep users informed and to respond to the news articles regarding the incident. My concern, though, is that users most likely are not reading the LinkedIn blog.  Instead, they are tweeting that they deleted the LinkedIn app, etc. What they need to do is address the larger problem at hand which is people are now wary of their security practices. I’m interested to see if this story goes any further. It seems that there have been few users announcing that they were victims of these hackers.
What is a HASH? It’s an important part of protecting YOUR passwords. Who knew!  More information here.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts.

Follow Amanda (me!) on Twitter @AESmith03

About Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a public relations student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Amanda is currently the V.P. of Public Relations on the Panhellenic Council executive board. She is also involved with PRSSA and Hill Communications, a student-run public relations firm.

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