There’s a recent upsurge in unauthorized access to LinkedIn accounts, with cybercriminals, in certain instances, capitalizing on their breaches by pressuring victims into making payments. The promise? Account restoration or face irreversible deletion.
While LinkedIn, a unit under Microsoft, has maintained silence on these cyber-attacks, the issue seems widespread. Data gathered from various online platforms and search engine metrics show a considerable uptick in LinkedIn account breaches during the last quarter, as revealed in a detailed study by Cyberint.
Due to the soaring complaints and help requests, LinkedIn’s support turnaround time seems to be slowing down. This, as pointed out by Coral Tayar, a cybersecurity analyst at Cyberint, underscores the gravity of the situation. Tayar noted, “Searches related to ‘LinkedIn account compromised’ or ‘LinkedIn password recovery’ have seen a dramatic rise, with a growth surpassing 5,000% in recent times.”
Diverse Attack Methods
LinkedIn’s reticence on this matter has evoked strong reactions from its vast user base. A frustrated user expressed their ire on X (formerly Twitter), criticizing LinkedIn’s security measures and lack of prompt response.
From the multitude of online testimonies, two distinct modi operandi of these cyber attackers emerge:
- Preemptive Action by LinkedIn: LinkedIn detects dubious activity on a user’s profile, resulting in a temporary account suspension. The account holder then receives an alert prompting them to validate their credentials and modify their password.
“In scenarios like this, it’s probable that hackers tried to override two-factor authentication or initiated brute-force attacks. LinkedIn’s system likely detected and halted these endeavors,” mentioned Tayar.
- Direct and Complete Takeover: In more dire situations, cybercriminals seize control of a LinkedIn account, altering its linked email to a new one—often from the domain rambler.ru—making recovery by the original owner virtually impossible. These attackers also modify the password, preventing recovery via the initially associated email. Some victims are then coerced into paying a ransom for account access, while others find their accounts deleted entirely.
Past Instances of LinkedIn Security Breaches
LinkedIn, a renowned name in the professional networking world, has faced cyber threats before. Just last year, the platform ranked as the most exploited brand in phishing assaults. Furthermore, in June, North Korean group APT Lazarus was detected deploying phony LinkedIn profiles to ensnare security experts.
There’s an array of malevolent actions cyber assailants can execute using hijacked LinkedIn profiles. They can imitate trusted contacts to spearhead phishing attacks, access sensitive business discussions, or tarnish a victim’s reputation through malicious posts or messages.
“We invest a substantial part of our existence on the internet, and it’s paramount that our digital personas remain secure,” commented Emily Phelps from Cyware, a threat intelligence organization.
Secure Your LinkedIn Profile
In light of the escalating threat, Isogent recommends immediate login and profile verification. Users must confirm that contact details are accurate and immediately reach out to LinkedIn if access issues arise.
It’s crucial to monitor emails for notifications from LinkedIn about added email addresses. A sudden, uninitiated addition might indicate a breach. Strengthening passwords and activating two-step verification, available on LinkedIn and many other platforms, can also fortify profile security against potential breaches.
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