PHOENIX — LinkedIn one of the world's largest business social networks, boasting more than 160 million users, has reportedly been hacked. The company is continuing to investigate unconfirmed reports that a security breach resulted in more than six million LinkedIn members passwords being leaked onto the Internet Wednesday morning.
Although officials at LinkedIn have not confirmed the reported hack, but by mid-day the company's official blog had this message to LinkedIn users, "Our security team continues to investigate this morning’s reports of stolen passwords. At this time, we’re still unable to confirm that any security breach has occurred. Remember, no matter what website you’re on, it’s important for you to make sure that you protect your account security and privacy."
Researchers at the Web security company Sophos told the Associated Press that they have confirmed that a file posted online does contain, in part, encrypted LinkedIn passwords. The security firm recommended that LinkedIn users change their passwords immediately.
According to a number of popular technology blogs, the LinkedIn password data can be easily downloaded from an Internet server located in Russia. CNET.com reports that the file contains 6,458,021 40-character hexadecimal strings, which is consistent with the initial report that nearly 6.5 million hashed passwords were allegedly leaked.
On a day when most tech stocks were rallying, shares of LinkedIn (LNKD) fell from $93.17 to a low of $91.58 before beginning to rebound late in the trading day Wednesday.