Security breaches in the digital world seem to be all too common these days, and such malicious activity does seem to have picked up in pace in recent times, too. Thankfully, what has happened with the email addresses of LinkedIn users this time around IS NOT a security breach, but rather, Sell Hack, a free extension for the Chrome browser, will rely on an algorithm in order for it to “guess” members’ email addresses. This would mean Sell Hack falls back upon publicly available data, after performing a comparison against the rest of the information online, resulting in storing such lookups that ends up in a giant database.
While LinkedIn has suffered a security breach in the past, this is an email scraping situation, nothing more, nothing less. In the method as mentioned in the first paragraph, the “hack in” button would enable users to locate the email address that are associated with the account, never mind that one is not even connected.
LinkedIn intends to take legal action concerning the plug-in, and has also advised users to uninstall it so that nothing untoward will happen, while minimizing the chances of any kind of unwanted security breach. Sell Hack defended themselves, touting that the plug-in was specially developed for marketing professionals, touting that all data pulled are already publicly available.
As for LinkedIn’s response, they mentioned, “We are doing everything we can to shut Sell Hack down. Yesterday LinkedIn’s legal team delivered Sell Hack a cease and desist letter as a result of several violations.
LinkedIn members who downloaded Sell Hack should uninstall it immediately and contact Sell Hack requesting that their data be deleted.
We advise LinkedIn members to protect themselves and to use caution before downloading any third-party extension or app. Often times, as with the Sell Hack case, extensions can upload your private LinkedIn information without your explicit consent.”