The Social-business Network: Is your information safe?

 Avi Tzdaka (photo credit: Courtesy)
Avi Tzdaka
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Recently LinkedIn has become the number one target for cybercriminals. Since major breaches like these are rare events, it is worth examining the cause of such incidents and how to avoid them.

The social-business network, LinkedIn, which has three times as many users as Twitter and is often cited as a place to conduct business in the digital age, made headlines last month (April 2022) for all the wrong reasons.

Situation Analysis

First and foremost, it is important to remember that regardless of this data breach, LinkedIn is a major contributor to Microsoft's annual revenue stream and is most certainly here to stay for the long haul. However, LinkedIn's April 2022 breach will be remembered as the 'black month' of recent years. It was a month filled with negative news reports, the loss of a lawsuit, and reported as the number one target for cybercriminals worldwide.

What led to this

As with all social networks, when signing up for a LinkedIn account we build a profile and are required to fill in details like education and work experience. It is much like Facebook, except that on LinkedIn we provide considerably more information because it is the platform where we can showcase our professional skills. Simply put, LinkedIn is like “Facebook for your career” and as such, has turned into a gold mine for professional data miners.

What is the situation today?

It appears that LinkedIn is faring pretty well. In the first quarter of 2022, Microsoft reported a favorable increase in LinkedIn sessions, and new members compared to 2021. Notwithstanding these achievements, however, cybercriminals continue targeting job seekers on LinkedIn using fake emails of employment to steal their money and personal data. Furthermore, Check Point Research (CPR) has released a new report titled: ‘Brand Phishing Report’ that highlights LinkedIn as the most often imitated brand by cybercriminals for phishing.

Forecast for the near future

Fortunately for us, LinkedIn has already proven that it knows how to take action against cybercriminals when it permanently deleted 11.6 million suspect LinkedIn profiles in 2021. There is no doubt that, following recent events, LinkedIn will begin to take action against these cybercriminals but until then, we should be aware and vigilant when using the LinkedIn platform.