LinkedIn hit with lawsuit over massive data breach

A lawsuit seeking class-action status said the company failed to implement 'industry standard' security measures

LinkedIn has been hit with a potential class-action lawsuit alleging it failed to meet "industry standard" security practices in connection with a massive data breach earlier this month, according to court documents.

On June 6, users learned that hackers had gained access to LinkedIn's databases when 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords were posted to an underground forum.

The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of a single subscriber to LinkedIn's premium services, Illinois resident Katie Szpyrka. It's seeking certification as a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all LinkedIn users.

The suit claims LinkedIn failed to use "long standing industry standard encryption protocols," exposing its users' personally identifiable information. LinkedIn engaged in deceptive practices, the suit says, by claiming to use industry standard protocols to safeguard users' information.

LinkedIn called the suit "without merit" and said it would defend itself "vigorously."

"No member account has been breached as a result of the incident, and we have no reason to believe that any LinkedIn member has been injured. Therefore, it appears that these threats are driven by lawyers looking to take advantage of the situation," LinkedIn spokeswoman Erin O'Harra said in an email.

Lawyers for Szpyrka could not immediately be reached for comment.

LinkedIn stored passwords in "hashed," or encrypted format, but did not "salt" them as many websites do, meaning it did not add additional random characters to make the encryption more difficult to break. After being posted in their hashed format, some of the passwords were decrypted. LinkedIn has since begun salting passwords.

According to the lawsuit, LinkedIn also relied on an outmoded hashing format to store passwords and did not adhere to "basic security checklists" supplied by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to prevent the type of attack, called a SQL injection attack, that allowed hackers to gain access.

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Scott

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?