It seems Facebook isn’t the only company dealing with a massive data leak. There’s another massive dump of people’s data available for sale online, including data from Microsoft’s LinkedIn, a business-oriented social platform.
CyberNews reports that an individual is selling the data on a hacker forum. The seller claims the data was scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles.
Further, the data contains LinkedIn users’ full names, email addresses, phone numbers, genders and more, according to CyberNews. The seller shared access to about two million records as proof.
However, LinkedIn claims the data includes information from other places and that it wasn’t all scraped from the social network.
“We have investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale and have determined that it is actually an aggregation of data from a number of websites and companies,” LinkedIn explained in a statement.
Further, the social network stresses that the data was not obtained through a breach of LinkedIn’s security and that “no private member account data from LinkedIn was included in what we’ve been able to review.”
Although it’s not entirely clear what “private member account data” contains, The Verge suggests it could mean that the data included in the dump only includes information someone would be able to find on a person’s public LinkedIn page.
Ultimately, whether the data was scraped or obtained through a breach is beside the point — it doesn’t help anyone who now has personal data for sale online. Similarly, Facebook responded to its recent data leak by focusing on the semantics of being “hacked” versus “scraped.”
The Verge also notes that LinkedIn hasn’t confirmed if it will notify users whose data was leaked. Hopefully, the social network decides to help users by notifying them — it’s the least it could do.
Facebook, on the other hand, has refused to tell people if their data was included in the leak. Several tools have popped up online to help people find out.
As with any major data dump/leak/breach/whatever term you want to use, expect it to get worse before it gets better. As investigations continue, more detail about what data was obtained and how it was obtained should become available. Further, Italy’s privacy watchdog started an investigation into LinkedIn, which will likely reveal even more about what happened.