The data, which forms two-thirds of LinkedIn global user base, includes account IDs, full names, email addresses, workplace information and links to social media accounts of users hosted on the platform.
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“The leaked files appear to only contain LinkedIn profile information—we did not find any deeply sensitive data like credit card details or legal documents in the sample posted by the threat actor,” CyberNews said, adding that even an email address “can be enough for a competent cybercriminal to cause real damage”.
There were no estimates of how many Indian users were affected by the LinkedIn data leak.
India has the second-largest LinkedIn user base with 71 million profiles, according to data platform Statista. US is the largest with 170 million. The social network has more than 740 million users globally, according to its website.
“This was not a LinkedIn data breach, and no private member account data from LinkedIn was included in what we’ve been able to review,” a spokesperson for the platform said. “We have…determined that it (alleged set of LinkedIn data) is actually an aggregation of data from a number of websites and companies. It does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn.”
The company said it will hold the people who scraped the data accountable since it violates its terms of service. “Any misuse of our members’ data, such as scraping, violates LinkedIn terms of service. When anyone tries to take member data and use it for purposes LinkedIn and our members haven’t agreed to, we work to stop them and hold them accountable,” the spokesperson said.
Last week, it was revealed that data of Facebook users, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, was up on sale on the dark web. A cybersecurity expert flagged the breach, saying the personal information of 533 million Facebook users—including 6.1 million from India—had been leaked online and posted for free on hacking forums. The social network, however, said this was not a fresh case, but one that it had plugged in 2019.
“All 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free. This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely the phone number used for the account was leaked,” Alon Gal, co-founder and chief technical officer of cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock, wrote on microblogging platform Twitter.
A Facebook spokesperson told ET, “This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”
India is among the biggest markets for Facebook and group companies WhatsApp and Instagram. According to government data, India has 530 million WhatsApp users, 410 million Facebook users, and 210 million Instagram users.