Microsoft-owned LinkedIn says a recent report about personal information of some 700 million users of its members being put up for sale is due to scraping of the careers social networking site, and not a new data breach.
The claims of a data leak were made by Restore Privacy founder Sven Taylor, who said that a hacker had posted a sample on an unnamed internet forum with information on 1 million LinkedIn users.
Taylor said the hacker's database contains information on 700 million LinkedIn members, which is close to the full amount of users that have registered on the website.
Priced at US$5000 for the full 700 million record dataset, Taylor said the data appears to be updated with samples from 2020 to 2021.
Taylor contacted the threat actor via Telegram, and was told the data had been obtained via the LinkedIn application programming interface.
After investigating the report, LinkedIn said the data trove isn't from a breach and that no private member data was exposed.
"Our initial investigation has found that this data was scraped from LinkedIn and other various websites and includes the same data reported earlier this year in our April 2021 scraping update," LinkedIn said.
In April this year, LinkedIn said it had investigated an alleged set of data for sale, and determined the information in it had been aggregated from a number of different websites and companies.
The operator of the haveibeenpwned data leak lookup and alert website, Troy Hunt, also believed the information had been scraped from LinkedIn.
This looks like a continuation of the story earlier this year which wasn’t a breach, rather it was scraped. Newsworthy, but big difference https://t.co/OKCpECbePA— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) June 29, 2021
LinkedIn states that any misuse of members' data such as scraping is against its terms of service and that it will hold anyone who does so accountable.
In 2012, LinkedIn suffered a data breach of 164 million email addresses and passwords.