LinkedIn training arm Lynda.com suffers data breach

Graham Cluley

LinkedIn training arm Lynda.com suffers data breach

LinkedIn training arm Lynda.com suffers data breach

Online training company Lynda.com, owned by LinkedIn (which itself is being acquired by Microsoft), has suffered a security incident which saw a user database accessed by unauthorised parties.

The “cryptographically salted and hashed” passwords of some 55,000 accounts were reportedly accessed in the incident, which Lynda.com is resetting.

A further 9.5 million users of the skill-learning site are being warned in an advisory email that other information has been accessed – including contact information and details of viewed courses – although their password data is said not to have been exposed.

In an advisory email, Lynda.com is informing those users of the incident:

Lynda email

We recently became aware that an unauthorized third party breached a database that included some of your Lynda.com learning data, such as contact information and courses viewed. We are informing you of this issue out of an abundance of caution.

Please know that we have no evidence that this data included your password. And while we have no evidence that your specific account was accessed or that any data has been made publicly available, we wanted to notify you as a precautionary measure.

If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us through our Support Center.

The Lynda.com team

The wording of the email is a little odd, and makes me wonder whether this was a traditional “hack” or more a case of a security researcher stumbling across a user database on a server that shouldn’t have been publicly accessible, or found a vulnerability that allowed them to access user information.

Disappointingly, I was unable to find any reference to the data breach on the Lynda.com website. I always think breached sites should post an online notice so users can confirm the incident, rather than blindly trust an email received in their inbox.

Regular readers will recall that LinkedIn is no stranger to database breaches.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

One Reply to “LinkedIn training arm Lynda.com suffers data breach”

  1. I am always suspicious of such notifications as if passwords were not breached how can the hacker get to other details, should they not be accessible only on the other side of the password? However not being completely thick i assume the data mentioned here is behind some LinkedIn/Lynda SysAdmin password which was what was breached or gotten around via some vulnerability.

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