In the last few days, we’ve had a bunch of calls from customers who have had their email hacked. They are hearing from friends and clients that their email is sending out spam. Some of them have been aggravated with us because they feel like their anti-virus should have protected them. (Security software can’t protect you if someone else already has your password information.)
Here’s the deal. Several years ago, LinkedIn was hacked. Login credentials were stolen from approximately 117 million LinkedIn accounts! Although this happened in 2012, one of the “bad guys” has recently decided to sell the credentials.
According to this article from Tech Crunch:
Now, according to a new report from Motherboard, a hacker going by the name of “Peace” is trying to sell the emails and passwords of 117 million LinkedIn members on a dark web illegal marketplace for around $2,200, payable in bitcoin.
CNN:Money adds their two cents:
Companies typically protect customer passwords by encrypting them. But at the time of the 2012 data breach, LinkedIn hadn’t added a pivotal layer of security that makes the jumbled text harder to decode.
Put on the defensive, LinkedIn is now scrambling to try to stop people from sharing the stolen goods online — often an impractical task. The company is also invalidating all customer passwords that haven’t been updated since they were stolen.
LinkedIn said it’s reaching out to individual members affected by the breach. This particular hack affects a quarter of the company’s 433 million members.
Since many people use the same password on their other online accounts, the hackers can potentially access other accounts as well.
Our advice? Change your passwords for LinkedIn and other social media sites today. If you use the same passwords for other online sites, change the passwords for your email and banking accounts too. (If you didn’t have a LinkedIn account prior to 2013, you should be safe. This time.)
Changing your passwords on a regular basis is always a good idea!
Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.