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Passwords of 6 million LinkedIn users compromised

MUMBAI: Professional networking site, LinkedIn, sent a short mail to its users asking them to reset their passwords but making no reference to the security breach that likely resulted in over 6 million passwords being compromised. "In order to ensure that you continue to have the best experience using LinkedIn, we are constantly monitoring our site to make sure your account information is safe. We have recently disabled your account for security reasons," the mail said listing three steps for users to reset their password. 

On its blog, LinkedIn confirmed passwords to user accounts were compromised and said it continues to investigate the situation. It said members that have accounts associated with the compromised passwords will notice that their LinkedIn account password was no longer valid. These members will also receive an email from LinkedIn with instructions on how to reset their passwords. There will not be any links in this email. Once you follow this step and request password assistance, then you will receive an email from LinkedIn with a password reset link. These affected members will receive a second email from our Customer Support team providing a bit more context on this situation and why they are being asked to change their passwords, the professional networking site said on its blog. However, this writer who received an e-mail with instructions to reset the password, did not recieve any mail providing a 'bit more context'. 

Ironically, despite the security breach, LinkedIn shares ended higher on the Nasdaq, prompting one wit on twitter to quip, "LinkedIn hacked. Stock goes up. Hey Mark! I've got an idea how to improve FB's valuation." Facebook has been trading below its offer much to dismay of those who subscribed to its $ 104 billion dollar public offering. Twitter users chipped in with many other 140-character quips on LinkedIn passwords being compromised. One said, "If any hackers come across my Linkedin password, could you remind me what it is" and another said, "I said to someone last night: if only LinkedIn could have found professionals to write more secure software" taking a dig at how the site aims to be the destination for job-seekers and recruiters. 

Websense Security Labs said in a statement that there additional risks from the breach because many LinkedIn accounts are tied to other social media services, such as Facebook or Twitter, and posts with malicious links can also be propagated to a larger audience.It also highlighted another another fallout and warned, "Many of us are creatures of habit and have the same password for multiple accounts. The consequences of a breached password could be extrapolated across email, social media, banking accounts, and mobile phone data." 

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