On Wednesday LinkedIn users everywhere got the news that over 6.5 million user passwords leaked online. A russian forum user announced that he had hacked LinkedIn, and subsequently uploaded the millions of passwords online. The encryption LinkedIn used to safeguard its passwords was thought to be pretty secure, but it was the manner in which they stored it that caused the infiltration. LinkedIn stored the passwords as unsalted hashes, basically meaning that it made it easier and faster for hackers to crack the passwords.
Following confirmation of the hack, LinkedIn advised users to change their passwords as an extra security measure. If you have not yet changed yours, you can get instructions on how to do so here. Users who were affected by the security breach, however, have already been notified via email.
In the wake of the security breach, LinkedIn has been making changes to its security system, now transition into one with both hashed and salted passwords. During the ordeal, LinkedIn was wise to keep its users informed, in proper crisis communications fashion. The professional social media outlet utilized Twitter with up-to-date news and was quick to respond following reports of the hacking.
Does the password hack affect your feelings toward LinkedIn? Why or why not? Let us know!