Hacked LinkedIn IDs on black market: What does it mean for you?

Reports recently have emerged that millions of IDs hacked during a 2012 unauthorised disclosure at LinkedIn have made their way onto the black market.

In a blog post on 18 May, the social media company, which operates a network for business professionals,  announced that it has been made aware that a hacker known as ‘Peace’ is advertising more than one hundred million email and hashed password combinations online. LeakedSource, a paid hacked data search engine, is also claiming to have possession of the leaked data.

It is believed that login details were taken during the theft that happened four years ago, although at the time it was thought only a fraction of the number now believed to be affected were victim to the disclosure.

LinkedIn has been quick to move to address the security problem and is currently invalidating passwords of the accounts believed to be impacted.

Shortly following the LinkedIn hack, MySpace and Tumblr were also hit by a data breach with millions of hack account details being sold online.

What does this mean if you’re a LinkedIn user?

People affected by the breach are being contacted by LinkedIn to reset their passwords and all its users are being reminded that regularly changing passwords is best practice.

The social networking site has also stressed that it has been hashing and salting every password in its database for several years, as well as offering protection tools to users, such as dual factor authentication and email challenges.

Lessons to be learned

The recent fallout from LinkedIn’s 2012 unauthorised disclosure demonstrates that the negative effects from data theft can be felt long after it happens.

While our digital accounts are there for us to enjoy, it’s important that we’re aware of the risks of fraud and identity theft and take action to prevent them.

This means following industry advice around password protection, keeping a look out for suspicious communications and monitoring activity across your accounts.

With one in five people in the UK either falling victim to online data theft and identity fraud personally or knowing someone who has – according to cyber security firm Miracl – it’s becoming clear that we need to be smarter online. Having visibility over all of your financial accounts and monitoring their activity will help to ensure your data remains secure, which is why it’s so important to regularly check your Noddle credit report, so that you can keep an eye out to make sure everything looks as it should do.