Russian hackers leak 6.5 million LinkedIn account passwords

Reports are emerging that LinkedIn, the preferred social networking site of professionals, has been hacked and upwards of six million encrypted user passwords leaked as a result.

LinkedIn has established via Twitter that it is investigating reports that hashed security details have appeared as a package on a Russian hacker site, with over 300,000 alleged to have already been cracked.

The hackers are now apparently crowd sourcing to help finish the decryption process, with some LI users already confirming that their details have indeed been discovered following independent investigations into their password and SHA1 records.

"Although the data which has been released so far does not include associated email addresses, it is reasonable to assume that such information may be in the hands of the criminals," Sophos security expert Graham Cluley says on his blog.

Over 150 million people are currently registered to LinkedIn, who is expected to release an official statement later today. The negative security news comes on the back of recent criticism that the company was obtaining users' data via its mobile app without their knowledge.

Concerned LinkedIn users should immediately change their password and consult ITProPortal's guide to composing secure passwords for added peace of mind in the future.

Image credit: Naked Security