LinkedIn suffered major data breach in 2012. At that time, company estimated that around 6.5 mn accounts were affected and preventive measures were taken.

Over last few days, millions of LinkedIn passwords surfaced online. According to Motherboard, someone going by the name “Peace” is selling (if he hasn’t sold them yet) 117 million LinkedIn username and password combos on a dark web marketplace for 5 Bitcoins or around $2,300. Some people estimates that it contains really 167 million user names. It’s just that only 117 million have both usernames and passwords.The company has started invalidating passwords created before 2012, so you might receive a note to change yours if you’ve been a user for quite some time.

Meanwhile, LeakedSource  got access to 167370910 LinkedIn accounts in total by scouring dark web. They were able to decrypt at least 117 mn accounts, meaning rest of the accounts might have used secondary access mechanisms such as Facebook/Google etc. All these passwords were using SHA1 encryption, which is fast becoming obsolete in web security standards.

Key lessons..

  1. First line of defence is YOU. If you are lazy enough to set it as ‘123456’ , it can be hacked by even 4th grader.
  2. If you have a website/product or start-up developing piece of software, security should be your concern from Day One. LinkedIn got sued for $5 MN, for inappropriate security mechanisms which caused this data breach.

Here is table from LeakedSource about top passwords used.

Rank Password Frequency
1 123456 753,305
2 linkedin 172,523
3 password 144,458
4 123456789 94,314
5 12345678 63,769
6 111111 57,210
7 1234567 49,652
8 sunshine 39,118
9 qwerty 37,538
10 654321 33,854
11 000000 32,490
12 password1 30,981
13 abc123 30,398
14 charlie 28,049
15 linked 25,334
16 maggie 23,892
17 michael 23,075
18 666666 22,888
19 princess 22,122
20 123123 21,826
21 iloveyou 20,251
22 1234567890 19,575
23 Linkedin1 19,441
24 daniel 19,184
25 bailey 18,805
26 welcome 18,504
27 buster 18,395
28 Passw0rd 18,208
29 baseball 17,858
30 shadow 17,781
31 121212 17,134
32 hannah 17,040
33 monkey 16,958
34 thomas 16,789
35 summer 16,652
36 george 16,620
37 harley 16,275
38 222222 16,165
39 jessica 16,088
40 GINGER 16,040
41 michelle 16,024
42 abcdef 15,938
43 sophie 15,884
44 jordan 15,839
45 freedom 15,793
46 555555 15,664
47 tigger 15,658
48 joshua 15,628
49 pepper 15,610
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