Hacking and ransom demands on LinkedIn: How to protect accounts


LinkedIn, the popular professional networking platform, faces a surge of account hacks, compromising security and causing users to lose access. This alarming trend necessitates a renewed focus on improving the security of LinkedIn accounts since victims are forced to pay ransom to regain control. 

The Rising Threat

LinkedIn accounts have been hacked in a widespread hijacking campaign. LinkedIn is being targeted in a wave of account hacks, resulting in many accounts being locked out for security reasons or ultimately hijacked by attackers. As reported last month by Cyberint, many LinkedIn users have been complaining about account takeovers or lockouts and an inability to resolve the problems through LinkedIn support. “Some have even been pressured into paying a ransom to regain control or faced with the permanent deletion of their accounts,” reports Cyberint’s researcher Coral Tayar.

Challenges and Frustrations

Users who have fallen victim to these hacks have experienced immense difficulties resolving the issues through LinkedIn’s support system. Complaints have flooded platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, and Microsoft forums, with affected users expressing their frustration at the lack of response and assistance from LinkedIn’s support team. The extended support response time has only added to the mounting concerns. The stories those affected share paint a grim picture of compromised accounts and a lack of recourse.

The Consequences of Losing a LinkedIn Account

Losing access to a LinkedIn account can have far-reaching consequences. The account represents a digital network of connections, followers, and professional relationships carefully cultivated over time. Losing this valuable network can be devastating on both personal and professional fronts. It means severing ties with potential employers, colleagues, mentors, and clients. Rebuilding such a network from scratch is a daunting task, requiring significant time and effort.

The Threat of Ransom Demands

In some of the cases observed by Cyberint, the attackers demanded a small ransom to return the accounts to the original owners or deleted the accounts outright without asking for anything. This disturbing trend adds an additional layer of concern for LinkedIn users. The prospect of paying a ransom to regain control of an account further emphasizes the urgent need for stringent security measures.

The Importance of Strengthening Security

The current wave of LinkedIn account hacks, coupled with the threat of ransom demands, underscores the critical importance of fortifying the security of user accounts. Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of protection by requiring users to verify their identity through a secondary method, such as a code sent to their mobile devices. Enabling two-factor authentication significantly reduces the likelihood of successful account hijacking. Additionally, users must adopt strong and unique passwords for their LinkedIn accounts and regularly update them to mitigate the risk of compromise.

The Opportunity in Starting Over

While losing a LinkedIn account may initially seem disheartening, there is a silver lining to starting afresh. Rebuilding a network from scratch presents an opportunity to create a more up-to-date and accurate contact list. By carefully selecting connections and weeding out inactive or irrelevant contacts, users can curate a stronger network that aligns better with their current professional goals. Additionally, starting anew allows individuals to redefine their personal brand, crafting a fresh image that may surpass their previous online presence.

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