Attacks/Breaches
6/6/2012
11:47 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

LinkedIn Users: Change Password Now

Attackers appear to have obtained--and may have already decrypted--at least 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords.

All users of the LinkedIn social network should immediately change their password.

Security experts began broadcasting that warning Wednesday after reports emerged that nearly 6.5 million LinkedIn password hashes--encrypted using SHA1, but not salted--had been posted to a Russian hacking forum on Monday, together with a request to help decrypt them.

Hackers have already reported breaking 163,267 of the passwords, reported Norwegian news outlet Dagen IT, which Wednesday broke the news of the LinkedIn password breach.

LinkedIn confirmed that it's investigating the potential password breach. "Our team is currently looking into reports of stolen passwords. Stay tuned for more," read a Wednesday tweet from LinkedIn News.

[ Read about how hackers accessed a Romney Webmail account. See Romney Campaign Investigates Hotmail Account Hack. ]

What should LinkedIn users do? "First change your LinkedIn password. Then prepare for scam emails about Linkedin password changes, linking to phishing sites. Will happen," said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, via Twitter.

Security expert Per Thorsheim tweeted that he'd reviewed the uploaded password hashes and recovered at least 300,000 of them. "The number of [occurrences] of 'linkedin' in those passwords leave little doubt about the origin. Change password NOW!" Meanwhile, a post from the Security Ninja website's Twitter feed noted that "after getting the list of @linkedin hashes and hashing my old pwd with no salt there is a match for the hash in the list." Accordingly, it said that it was "best to assume the worst and change your password."

Evidently, LinkedIn didn't salt its passwords--a practice recommended by security experts that involves adding a unique string to each password before encrypting it. Had the passwords been salted, it would have made them more difficult for attackers to reverse the SHA1 password hashes. In fact, attackers may have already decrypted the passwords, and they may also have users' passwords and email addresses. "Although the data which has been released so far does not include associated email addresses, it is reasonable to assume that such information may be in the hands of the criminals," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a blog post.

The Computer Emergency Response Team of Finland (CERT-FI) Wednesday warned that many more than the 6,458,020 uploaded password hashes are likely to have been obtained by attackers. "Not all LinkedIn passwords have been published, but it is likely that an attacker is in possession of the rest of the passwords," it said.

According to LinkedIn, as of March 31, 2012, it had 161 million members.

CERT-FI also advised anyone who had reused their LinkedIn password on another site to immediately change it there as well, since it will be at risk of being hacked by anyone who downloads and reverses the uploaded LinkedIn password hashes.

More and more organizations are considering development of an in-house threat intelligence program, dedicating staff and other resources to deep inspection and correlation of network and application data and activity. In our Threat Intelligence: What You Really Need to Know report, we examine the drivers for implementing an in-house threat intelligence program, the issues around staffing and costs, and the tools necessary to do the job effectively. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
GR8Day
50%
50%
GR8Day,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2012 | 3:31:25 PM
re: LinkedIn Users: Change Password Now
I am surprised a social networks who is geared for the professional would not be more security conscious. I am a member and would like to see them take some steps to provide me with additional layers of protection for access to my account verification without unreasonable complexity. It would be great to see them just as some of the other leading companies in their respective verticals giving us the perfect balance between security and user experience by moving to the use of 2FA (two-factor authentication) mobile or other, as a form of a token where the user is asked to telesign into their account by entering a one-time PIN code which is delivered to your phone via SMS or voice. I wish really wish more organizations would start implementing 2FA.
Number 6
50%
50%
Number 6,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/6/2012 | 6:18:22 PM
re: LinkedIn Users: Change Password Now
Nice of LinkedIn to not mention this to their users when they sign on (so far).
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0972
Published: 2014-08-01
The kgsl graphics driver for the Linux kernel 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, does not properly prevent write access to IOMMU context registers, which allows local users to select a custom page table, and consequently write ...

CVE-2014-2627
Published: 2014-08-01
Unspecified vulnerability in HP NonStop NetBatch G06.14 through G06.32.01, H06 through H06.28, and J06 through J06.17.01 allows remote authenticated users to gain privileges for NetBatch job execution via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3009
Published: 2014-08-01
The GDS component in IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management - Collaborative Edition 10.0 through 11.0 and InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for Product Information Management 9.0 and 9.1 does not properly handle FRAME elements, which makes it easier for remote authenticated users to conduct ph...

CVE-2014-3302
Published: 2014-08-01
user.php in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server 1.5(.1.131) and earlier does not properly implement the token timer for authenticated encryption, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via a crafted URL, aka Bug ID CSCuj81708.

CVE-2014-3534
Published: 2014-08-01
arch/s390/kernel/ptrace.c in the Linux kernel before 3.15.8 on the s390 platform does not properly restrict address-space control operations in PTRACE_POKEUSR_AREA requests, which allows local users to obtain read and write access to kernel memory locations, and consequently gain privileges, via a c...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio