What’s the latest online crime trend? Hacking into LinkedIn accounts. Then using that information to steal people’s identities to scam the people and the companies they’re connected to or to sell the connections to marketers.
LinkedIn is designed so headhunters, businesses and individuals can network, and find potential jobs and employees. But it’s also a goldmine for hackers. Because there are 150 million members. And when you create a profile, it includes things like where you work, what you do, and who you work with.
Attackers then pretend to be you, and attempt to trick your connections into opening e-mail attachments that contain viruses. Or they may request confidential company information. Some even pretend to be in HR, or a potential new employer, and ask for your Social Security Number or other information, and steal your identity.
The tricks have worked with security firms, and U.S. government agencies. And recently, hackers used information they found on LinkedIn and were able to trick employees at more than a dozen major companies - including Apple, AT&T, and United Airlines - into disclosing sensitive corporate information.
Think carefully about the information you choose to reveal on your LinkedIn profile.
And do your research before you send anything to someone who finds you through LinkedIn.