Attacks/Breaches

6/6/2012
11:47 AM
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).
Microsoft President: Governments Must Cooperate on Cybersecurity
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/8/2018
5 Reasons Why Threat Intelligence Doesn't Work
Jonathan Zhang, CEO/Founder of WhoisXML API and TIP,  11/7/2018
Why Password Management and Security Strategies Fall Short
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  11/7/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
This report offers insight on how security professionals plan to invest in cybersecurity, and how they are prioritizing their resources. Find out what your peers have planned today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-8584
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-14
An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists when Windows improperly handles calls to Advanced Local Procedure Call (ALPC), aka "Windows ALPC Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability." This affects Windows Server 2016, Windows 10, Windows Server 2019, Windows 10 Servers.
CVE-2018-8588
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-14
A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that the Chakra scripting engine handles objects in memory in Microsoft Edge, aka "Chakra Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability." This affects Microsoft Edge, ChakraCore. This CVE ID is unique from CVE-2018-8541, CVE-2018-8...
CVE-2018-8589
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-14
An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists when Windows improperly handles calls to Win32k.sys, aka "Windows Win32k Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability." This affects Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2.
CVE-2018-8592
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-14
An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists in Windows 10 version 1809 when installed from physical media (USB, DVD, etc, aka "Windows Elevation Of Privilege Vulnerability." This affects Windows 10, Windows Server 2019.
CVE-2018-8600
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-14
A Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists when Azure App Services on Azure Stack does not properly sanitize user provided input, aka "Azure App Service Cross-site Scripting Vulnerability." This affects Azure App.