A hacker who identifies himself as “Tom Liner” claims to have stolen, cataloged and created a gigantic database with the information of more than 700 million users of the LinkedIn. According to him, the theft of this information, which includes sensitive data such as name, employment bond, age, marital status and face picture, was made just for him to have fun.

However, it is not because the theft of this data was done “for the love of the sport”, that there is no price for the information obtained through it. Currently, access to the spreadsheet with the compiled data is being sold for US$ 5 thousand (R$ 25,6 thousand) in a forum frequented by hackers, according to information obtained by a BBC report.

Information obtained by the hacker was already public on LinkedIn, having just been compiled. Credit: Shutterstock

Included in this particular post was a link to a “free sample” which contained 1 million records along with an invitation for interested parties to contact the seller via private messages to bid through the database. According to Tom, the value of US$ 5 pleased and the database has already been sold to several customers, all of them satisfied.

It does not, however, reveal who its customers are or what their intentions are in purchasing this information. But he speculates that this data is probably being used to carry out other "hacking adventures".

Is it theft?

Calling Tom Liner's action a “data theft” is perhaps not the most correct, as he has not hacked into LinkedIn's servers or databases. What he did was a procedure known as “scraping” data that is public on the platform, it's as if he entered a profile by profile and copied what is public, with the difference that he automated this routine.

That is, he very quickly gathered all the public data from 700 million LinkedIn users, compiled and organized that information into a spreadsheet, and then put that information up for sale to third parties. All of this information is found by accessing the profiles individually, but manually compiling a database of this size would take thousands of years.

Other cases

To date, there have been at least three other major incidents involving the scraping of public data on social media. In a second case in April, also involving LinkedIn, data from around 500 million people were gathered.

In the same week, a database with information on 1,3 million profiles of the Clubhouse were made available for free on a forum.

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Also in April, 533 million Facebook user data were compiled and made available in these same forums accessed by hackers, this time in exchange for requests for cash donations.

According to Tom Liner, he is also responsible for collecting and selling the data obtained on the social network of Mark Zuckerberg.

With information UOL

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