The security team at LinkedIn doesn’t get much rest lately. In April, 500 million of its user’s data was exposed by hackers, and the same data collection technique was apparently used by a dark web user called TomLiner, who is currently selling 700 million LinkedIn user records (92% of all LinkedIn users) in a convenient bundle for just $5,000.
The data collection technique in question is called scraping, which is the act of extracting useful information from a website. Since any public website can be scraped using readily available tools, it wouldn’t be correct to call this incident a breach, as LinkedIn quickly pointed out.
“While we’re still investigating this issue, our initial analysis indicates that the dataset includes information scraped from LinkedIn as well as information obtained from other sources,” said Leonna Spilman, Corporate Communications Manager at LinkedIn. “This was not a LinkedIn data breach, and our investigation has determined that no private LinkedIn member data was exposed.”
So, what data has been exposed? Fortunately, no passwords or dates of birth. Here’s what a sample of one million records published by the scrapper contains:
- Email addresses
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- Physical addresses
- Geolocation records
- LinkedIn username and profile URL
- Personal and professional experience/background
- Other social media accounts and usernames
Who would pay $5,000 for this information, you wonder? Spammers, phishers, and other cybercriminals are definitely the target audience here.
Having all this information in one place makes it much easier for them to create detailed profiles of their potential victims and launch sophisticated targeted attacks against them. Sure, they could simply scape it by themselves using LinkedIn’s own API (application program interface) just like the seller did, but cybercrime can be so profitable that their time is often more valuable.
If you have a LinkedIn account, then you should assume that your personal information is included in the dataset and act accordingly. More specifically, you should enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) and avoid replying to email messages from unknown senders, let alone opening any attachments they may contain.
UAE Comes Out Strongly In Guinness World Records 2023
Guinness, the renowned cataloger of record-breaking events, has released its latest annual, after sifting through 40,000 applications — and the Arab world is heavily featured.
Guinness World Records, the authority on record-breaking global achievements, has just announced its latest release, “Guinness World Records 2023 (GWR2023),” which will be available online and in physical stores across the Arab region from today.
As usual, GWR 2023 features all of the latest achievements from around the world (and space!), with special features and updated graphics to bring the stories to life.
So why the interest in the latest Guinness installment? Well, it turns out the Arab Region is strongly represented in the book, with more than 50 records featured in the new edition, which is no mean feat considering the volume of competition.
“We’ve sifted through nearly 40,000 record applications over the past year to bring you Guinness World Records 2023. People from all walks of life continue to be fascinated by extremes, and we’ve received claims from across the planet – indeed, even from space! This is why I’ve said the new edition is out of this world,” says Craig Glenday, Guinness Editor in Chief.
Of interest to readers of this platform, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates both get to flex their record-breaking muscles.
Saudi Arabia claims the title of “Largest LED Structure and Suspended Ornament” courtesy of the Noor Riyadh Festival, as well as other weird and wonderful titles, including the “Largest Lego Formula 1 Car”, as well as perhaps more prestigious honors, such as “Largest Mirrored Building”, “Largest Clock Face”, “Tallest Lighthouse” and the “Largest Geodesic Dome”.
Not to be outdone, the UAE has claimed several humanitarian record-breaking titles, including the “Longest Video Livestream” (by The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and pan Arab influencer Hassan Suleiman), the “Largest Donation for Medical Treatment”, and the “Most Awareness Ribbons Made in One Hour”.
On the tech front, the UAE also claims several prestigious firsts, including “First 3D-Printed Laboratory”, while the world-renowned Burj Khalifa hangs on to its title of “World’s Tallest Building”.