Data scraped from 700m LinkedIn users appears for sale online
Reports of another batch of LinkedIn data being sold online have emerged, but this time 700m accounts have been victim to the apparent data scraping.
With 756m users on the social media platform, this would mean nearly 93pc of LinkedIn members are involved in the leak.
RestorePrivacy.com has posted a number of screenshots from a user who has claimed to have harvested the data by exploiting LinkedIn’s application programme interface (API).
RestorePrivacy.com is a site that aims to “give you all the information and tools you need to restore your online privacy, secure your electronic devices, and stay safe online”.
The data reported includes full names, phone numbers, geolocation records, email addresses and personal and professional experience of LinkedIn users.
The data posted did not include any login information or financial data. There was information related to inferred salary, however.
When members of RestorePrivacy cross-referenced the 1m samples given on the post against public information available, they found it appeared up-to-date and authentic.
LinkedIn has previously stated that misuse of data, such as this data scraping, is in violation of its terms of service.
A previous similar incident occurred in April of this year, when the data of 500m users was put up for a four-figure sum. LinkedIn clarified that these data were not obtained via a data breach, but had been gathered from a number of websites and companies, including their own.
In a statement issued at the time, LinkedIn said this earlier dataset “does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn”. The company stressed that this data was not lost through a breach, and no private member account data was compromised.
However, for users whose data is affected, risks include phishing attempts as well as identity theft.
With phishing attempts reportedly on the rise during 2021, the information leak represents a potential point of vulnerability for the vast majority of the professional community on the social media site.