LinkedIn a Valuable Target for Hackers

Mountain View company resets the passwords of compromised accounts.

If LinkedIn users have not already changed their passwords a day after some six million log ins were compromised by hackers, the Mountain View-based social network has done it for you.

LinkedIn said that it has confirmed that some of its users' passwords were stolen and posted to the Internet and the company has reset the passwords of the accounts in question.

Users whose passwords were stolen will now be forced to reset their log in information the next time they try to connect to the site.

"It is worth noting that the affected members who update their passwords and members whose passwords have not been compromised benefit from the enhanced security we just recently put in place, which includes hashing and salting of our current password databases," Vicente Silveira of LinkedIn wrote in a statement.

Compromised LinkedIn users will receive an email telling them how to change their password.

But Ed Goodman, the chief privacy officer IDT911, a identity management and data risk management solutions for businesses, said users should be vigilant when selecting a new LinkedIn password.

"According to a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research, LinkedIn users are actually more likely to be targeted for fraud than users of any other social media platform," he said. "LinkedIn users store a wealth of information on their pages, so it's important they take steps to protect their privacy."

Goodman said there are four signs LinkedIn users should look for to see if they are being targeted for fraud:

• Invitations to connect that appear legitimate
• Fraudulent email notifications that you have "messages" in your inbox
• Fraudulent email notifications that your account has been closed
• Inbox messages that appear to be legitimate, especially those that have hyperlinks

He recommends picking a password that includes numbers, letters and special characters.

"For example, '3Dogz$$!' is better than '1006,'" he said.

Goodman also suggests users change the passwords on other accounts, especially online bank accounts.

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