Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Researchers Flag Security Flaws In New LinkedIn Offering

LinkedIn's new "Intro" tool could be a security nightmare waiting to happen, researchers warn

A new LinkedIn feature designed to familiarize users with their email partners could introduce a slew of security problems to enterprises and individuals who use it, researchers said this week.

The new feature, LinkedIn Intro, enables iPhone users to route their email through LinkedIn so that they can get background on an email sender or receiver before they write. The feature helps the user become more familiar with their email partners, LinkedIn says.

But security experts say the new feature is deeply flawed and potentially dangerous to the user's personal privacy -- and, by extension, to any enterprise that allows employees to use LinkedIn via the corporate network.

"Intro reconfigures your iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad) so that all of your emails go through LinkedIn’s servers. You read that right," states the security consulting firm Bishop Fox in a blog about the new LinkedIn feature. "Once you install the Intro app, all of your emails, both sent and received, are transmitted via LinkedIn’s servers. LinkedIn is forcing all your IMAP and SMTP data through their own servers and then analyzing and scraping your emails for data pertaining to…whatever they feel like.

The blog continues: "'But that sounds like a man-in-the-middle attack!' I hear you cry. Yes. Yes it does. Because it is. That’s exactly what it is. And this is a bad thing. If your employees are checking their company email, it’s an especially bad thing."

Other security experts also flagged the potential security vulnerabilities in the new LinkedIn feature.

"To give them credit, from the engineering point of view it is pretty nifty. But from the security and privacy point of view it sends a shiver down my spine," said Graham Cluley, an independent security researcher, in a blog post. "LinkedIn also scooped up the contents of users' iOS calendars, including sensitive information such as confidential meeting notes and call-in numbers -- which they then transmitted in plain text, not encrypted."

In fact, Intro could create problems for encrypted email, the Bishop Fox blog says. "Cryptographic signatures will break because LinkedIn is rewriting your outgoing emails by appending a signature on the end," Bishop Fox states. "This means email signatures can no longer be verified. Encrypted emails are likely to break because of the same reason – extra data being appended to your messages."

The approach of the new feature could also create legal problems for email users because it changes the content of the email and interferes with confidentiality rules, Bishop Fox states.

"[LinkedIn] calls it 'doing the impossible,' but some might call it 'hijacking email,'" the blog says.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
patligalli
50%
50%
patligalli,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/25/2013 | 9:21:40 PM
re: Researchers Flag Security Flaws In New LinkedIn Offering
thanks for the news , I am probably going to remove from my Iphone...
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-16632
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
A XSS Vulnerability in /uploads/dede/action_search.php in DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 allows an authenticated user to execute remote arbitrary code via the keyword parameter.
CVE-2021-32073
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 contains a CSRF vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to send a malicious request to to the web manager allowing remote code execution.
CVE-2021-33033
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The Linux kernel before 5.11.14 has a use-after-free in cipso_v4_genopt in net/ipv4/cipso_ipv4.c because the CIPSO and CALIPSO refcounting for the DOI definitions is mishandled, aka CID-ad5d07f4a9cd. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2021-33034
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
In the Linux kernel before 5.12.4, net/bluetooth/hci_event.c has a use-after-free when destroying an hci_chan, aka CID-5c4c8c954409. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2019-25044
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The block subsystem in the Linux kernel before 5.2 has a use-after-free that can lead to arbitrary code execution in the kernel context and privilege escalation, aka CID-c3e2219216c9. This is related to blk_mq_free_rqs and blk_cleanup_queue.