Just days after news of Facebook’s data leak broke, it appeared as though LinkedIn was facing a similar breach when a popular hacking website claimed to have 500 million user profiles up for sale.
Cyber News first reported on the story, revealing that the LinkedIn IDs, full names, email address, phone numbers, gender and social media profiles of the 500 million users was available online.
The hackers released the records of 2 million users as a of proof-of-concept.
And while the reported leak had similarities to the Facebook breach in terms of the number of accounts impacted and the data exposed, it turns out the two incidents are quite different.
Facebook confirmed that its data breach was the result of a security flaw that was patched up in 2019.
According to LinkedIn, however, the data that has been shared on the forum is mostly publicly available information that has been aggregated with data from other sources.
“We have investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale and have determined that it is actually an aggregation of data from a number of websites and companies.
“It does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn. This was not a LinkedIn data breach, and no private member account data from LinkedIn was included in what we’ve been able to review.”
Despite denying any leak, LinkedIn said scraping data in this manner was still a breach of its terms of services and that the culprit would be stopped.
Both the Italian Data Protection Authority and Hong Kong’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data are reported to be investigating the matter.
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