Networking website LinkedIn has tried to draw the sting out of a pair of privacy foul-ups, admitting to a breach which enabled millions of passwords to be stolen and rejigging its data-snaffling iPhone app.
LinkedIn is disabling the passwords of all compromised accounts, locking out the attackers. It will also email users that have had their accounts compromised, providing instructions on how to reset their passwords.
“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,” wrote Vicente Silveira, a director at LinkedIn on the company blog.
Around 6.5 million accounts are believed to have been affected by the attack, which saw hashed passwords posted on a Russian hacker forum.
The poster claimed to be looking for help in decrypting the passwords, which it was claimed had not been salted before being encrypted. Salting adds additional code to passwords, which once encrypted makes them harder to crack.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn has also updated its iPhone app, with “improved calendar” functions. The move comes after the site was criticised by researchers after they discovered the app could send users' calendar data to the company's servers without prior warning.
In related news, dating website eHarmony also admitted that some its account passwords had been compromised.
“After investigating reports of compromised passwords, we have found that a small fraction of our user base has been affected,” Becky Teraoka, a company spokeswoman wrote on its news blog.
It too is emailing those affected users with instructions on how to reset their password.
“We deeply regret any inconvenience this causes any of our users,” Teraoka added.
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