In today’s digital age, cyber threats are a persistent reality, and the recent surge in LinkedIn account hijackings has set off alarm bells among cybersecurity experts. During the week of August 14, 2023, major sources such as Dark Reading, Bleeping Computer, Cyberint, and Help Net Security each sounded the alarm about this emerging trend.
The Growing Threat: LinkedIn Account Hijackings
Dark Reading issued a stark warning: “Hackers are on a spree of hijacking LinkedIn accounts.” This ongoing wave of attacks has left countless LinkedIn users locked out of their accounts due to security measures or falling prey to attackers who gain unauthorized access. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on this vulnerability, jeopardizing victims’ access and their online reputation.
Why LinkedIn Accounts Are Valuable Targets
Your LinkedIn account holds more value than you might realize. Cybercriminals can exploit your online identity and reputation to engineer advanced phishing campaigns that target your trusted business connections. This manipulation can lead to severe consequences, tarnishing your professional image and causing harm to your connections.
Strengthen Your Defenses NOW: Change Your Password and Use Two-Factor Authentication
The first line of defense against LinkedIn account hijacking is a strong, distinctive password. Make it long, complex, and difficult to guess. To change your password, navigate to the Me icon on your toolbar and select Settings and Privacy. Select Sign in and Security from the Settings menu, and then select Change Password.
When you change your password, follow the instructions to enable two-factor authentication (2FA). This secondary layer of security involves sending a dynamic code to your personal device or email, effectively thwarting unauthorized access even if the password is compromised.
Detecting a Hijacked Account
If you receive a “temporary lock” notification from LinkedIn due to unusual activities upon login, though this is annoying, consider yourself fortunate. This signifies that LinkedIn’s security systems are at work, detecting potential threats and intervening on your behalf. However, note that if you receive an email notification from LinkedIn regarding a new email address from an unfamiliar domain such as “rambler.ru,” your account might already be under the control of a malicious actor. So, now what?
Responding to a Hijacked Account
If you suspect your LinkedIn account has been compromised, take immediate action. Despite reported delays in LinkedIn’s response times, you should still follow these steps:
- Respond to email notifications to regain access.
- Contact LinkedIn Support via their official pages on platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
- Change passwords for all associated email accounts.
- Notify your LinkedIn connections about the potential security breach.
Conclusion: Stay Vigilant, Stay Secure
As cyber threats evolve, individuals and businesses must stay vigilant and adapt their security measures accordingly. The wave of LinkedIn account hijackings is a reminder of the importance of proactive defense strategies. Protecting your online reputation and controlling your digital presence is a top priority. By implementing strong passwords, enabling 2FA, and staying informed about emerging threats, you can fortify your LinkedIn account against the rising tide of cyber attacks.
Stay safe, stay secure, and protect your valuable online reputation.
I am NOT a cybersecurity expert. The following sources were consulted for this article:
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