In his Wednesday Blog, LinkedIn's spokesman, Vincente Silveira confirmed reports that LinkedIn was hacked and user passwords were compromised. Nearly 6.5 million LI and 1.5 million e-Harmony hashed passwords were posted online as "proof" by the hacker. Of those coded passwords, some were decoded and published.
Though many users have already changed their passwords as a precaution, Silveira's blog yesterday announced that LI is disabling those passwords published as well as any that have a potential to be damaging to the users. Silveira says, "Our first priority was to lock down and protect the accounts associated with the decoded passwords that we believed were at the greatest risk. We’ve invalidated those passwords and contacted those members with a message that lets them know how to reset their passwords."
Not sure where you fall into this category of hashed and decoded passwords?
LinkedIn will notify you by e-mail if your account was compromised and Mashable.com has a nifty little way of checking it out, also.
LinkedIn is working with law enforcement in this matter and installing internal security upgrades, but you can be proactive in protecting your identity with these precautionary steps recommended by Silveira:
- Make sure you update your password on LinkedIn (and any site that you visit on the Web) at least once every few months.
- Do not use the same password for multiple sites or accounts.
- Create a strong password for your account, one that includes letters, numbers, and other characters.
- Watch out for phishing emails and spam emails requesting personal or sensitive information.