LinkedIn users warned over 'passwords theft'
USERS of the networking website LinkedIn were warned to change their passwords last night, after some 6.5 million passwords were apparently stolen from the company's database, writes Peter Flanagan.
The self-styled "professional network" said it could not confirm if the passwords had been stolen but advised its 161 million users to change log-in details immediately. The passwords are thought to have appeared on a Russian language web forum.
LinkedIn is a social network aimed mainly at white collar workers which allows them to post their CV and other personal details online, and network with other people working in the same field. Its popularity has mushroomed in recent years and has been used by companies to post job advertisements and vet individuals before they hire them.
Hacking into a person's LinkedIn page is arguably more damaging than breaking into a Facebook profile or other networks because LinkedIn users routinely post their personal contact details, education and working history -- prime information for identity theft.
Unlike Facebook, people can pay for higher degrees of access to LinkedIn, meaning credit card details could also be stolen.
The company said last night it was investigating reports of stolen passwords.
"At this time, we're still unable to confirm that any security breach has occurred."