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LinkedIn leaks could lead to lock outs

LinkedIn accounts are being compromised and used in sophisticated phishing schemes, resulting in data loss, lock outs and, worse, the possibility of further access and ransom.

Last year, the cyberworld saw a number of large data leaks including high-profile social media accounts such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

LinkedIn claimed there has been no breach of private data, but a threat actor selling the data on the dark web has indicated the information which the leak may contain.

It includes:

  • LinkedIn IDs

  • Full names

  • Email addresses

  • Phone numbers

  • Genders

  • Links to LinkedIn profiles

  • Links to other social media profiles

  • Professional titles and other work-related data

This type of information could be used to enhance social engineering attempts to make them more believable to the victim.

Security researchers are also raising alarm bells about a widespread campaign targeting LinkedIn users in which threat actors attempt to take over accounts.

According to Cyberint, frustrated users who find themselves locked out of their LinkedIn accounts have been expressing their concerns on social media, leading to a notable increase in searches related to hacked accounts.

The threat actors employ various tactics, including trying to breach accounts with multi-factor authentication (MFA) or using brute force attacks on those protected only by passwords.

Successful attempts result in the legitimate user being temporarily locked out, with threat actors changing passwords and email addresses associated with the LinkedIn accounts.

Some victims have received ransom messages, while others have seen their accounts deleted altogether.

The motives behind the attacks remain unclear, but potential risks include blackmail, social engineering, or the spread of malicious content.

Researchers suggest that the threat actors may have gained initial access through data obtained from an exclusive LinkedIn breach or by using brute force tools on accounts with weaker passwords.



Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).



The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.


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