Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Hackers Spill LinkedIn Passwords

About 6.5 million passwords were released by Russian hackers this week.

Russian hackers leaked 6.5 million passwords from the business networking site LinkedIn this week, prompting the site to deactivate accounts to protect users.

The passwords were posted Monday to a Russian forum, Insidepro.com, a website specializing in recovering passwords from an outdated format used to store encoded passwords in a database, RIA-Novosti reported.

LinkedIn confirmed the password leak with comments in an official blog post late Wednesday, but didn't say how the hackers got access to them.

The passwords were posted in a simple cryptographic code, suggesting the networking site had been using outdated security precautions, CNNMoney reported. The format is considered to offer weak security protection if not supplemented with additional protections.

Half of the passwords have already been decoded and posted online.

Users of one hacker forum reported finding passwords including "linkedout," "recruiter," "googlerecruiter," "toprecruiter," "superrecruiter," "humanresources" and "hiring," CNNMoney said.

The extent of the damage was not immediately clear, and it was unknown whether or not the hackers knew the user accounts associated with the passwords.

LinkedIn says it is investigating the breach. The company said affected accounts would be deactivated, and users would receive emails with instructions on how to restore the accounts.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.