Hackers Steal Millions of Social Network Passwords

Dennis Faas's picture

Business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn has been hacked. According to new reports, hackers infiltrated the site's systems and stole an estimated 6.5 million passwords.

LinkedIn is a social media platform designed with business users in mind. It allows members to find past and present colleagues, to search for new jobs, and exchange advice and expertise with workers in their field.

It's estimated that approximately 161 million people have LinkedIn accounts, which means that it's no surprise this most recent security breach has caught the attention of many social media users.

Stolen Passwords Encrypted, For Now

"We can confirm that some of the passwords that were compromised correspond to LinkedIn accounts," said LinkedIn director, Vincente Silveira. "We are continuing to investigate this situation." (Source: pcmag.com)

It's currently unclear how the hackers bypassed LinkedIn's defenses. The good news is that all of the passwords were encrypted; the bad news is that millions of those passwords have, reportedly, already been uploaded to the web.

It is likely hackers are attempting to decrypt that information right now. Silveira insisted that LinkedIn's encryption strategy would make deciphering the passwords difficult, though the process is by no means mission: impossible.

Accounts Locked; Password Reset Necessary

Deciphering the passwords may not do hackers any good, however, given that LinkedIn has already locked the 6.5 million affected accounts. Those users whose passwords were stolen will find that they can no longer log in to the social networking site.

LinkedIn says these users will need to reset their passwords to gain access to the site. LinkedIn customer support representatives are said to be working with affected users to provide "a bit more context on [the] situation and why they are being asked to change their passwords." (Source: msn.com)

As it scrambles to keep its members safe from further attack, LinkedIn says it's sincerely sorry "for the inconvenience this has caused our members."

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