Reports are swarming around the Internet that the social business network, LinkedIn, has been compromised. According to ZDNET.com and many other tech sites and blogs, there is a major issue at hand that could worsen. The sites are reporting that more than 6.5 million passwords have been leaked.
Although this issue seems to be only affecting about 10 percent of LinkedIn’s 160 million worldwide users, many are concerned. The greatest of these fears is that the number of those affected will increase sharply if the situation is not properly addressed. LinkedIn uses functions found in SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) security protocols.
It appears that the passwords were being stored as unsalted hashes, a format that makes them considerably easier to decipher for professional hackers. An unnamed Russian hacker site has claimed responsibility for the leaked passwords. The site’s operators allegedly have asked other hackers to assist in the decryption of protected passwords.
This latest fiasco for LinkedIn comes on the heels of a development that had become detrimental to LinkedIn account holders. Earlier this week, the company was forced to inspect information about its mobile calendar application for IOS (Apple Inc.’s mobile operating system) users. It said its iPhone and iPad app could access detailed information about its users’ day-to-day activities, location, notes, and the stored email addresses of those connected to a user.
LinkedIn could not be reached for comment on the new breach. Instead, the company has addressed the public’s concern by tweeting a message stating, “Our team is currently looking into reports of stolen passwords. Stay tuned for more.”
At this point, experts say, the best plan of action for any LinkedIn user at this point is to change their current password and make sure it is completely different from the original.