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  1. LinkedIn now a $10 billion company Despite being a gigantic company, investors demand Microsoft continue to grow like a start-up, and that often means growth needs to be achieved via acquisition. Today at their earnings call, Microsoft was proud to announce that, 5 years after its acquisition, LinkedIn now pulls in $10 billion in annual revenue, with revenue nearly tripling over the period, and earnings accelerating. Over the quarter, LinkedIn revenue increased 46% driven by Marketing Solutions growth of 97%, with the advertising business pulling in $1 billion per quarter. This is in the background of 774 million members, which Microsoft says are more engaged than ever. Other new $10 billion companies inside Microsoft include gaming and security, both of which passed $10 billion in revenue over the last 3 years. LinkedIn now a $10 billion company
  2. A Tale of 3 Data 'Leaks': Clubhouse, LinkedIn, Facebook Confusion Over Hacking, Scraping and Amassing Highlights Data Lockdown Imperative Post to cybercrime forum describes Clubhouse user data being offered for sale Criminals love to amass and sell vast quantities of user data, but not all data leaks necessarily pose a risk to users. Even so, the ease with which would-be attackers can amass user data is a reminder to organizations to lock down inappropriate access as much as possible. That's a takeaway experts offer after large tranches of data recently became available for sale or for free. The data allegedly was obtained from three social networks: Clubhouse, LinkedIn and Facebook. Scammers can use such data to target individuals via social engineering attacks, and phishers can use it to craft lures, among other potential threats. Clubhouse - a startup social media network accessed via an app - and LinkedIn have both confirmed that large amounts of their user data has appeared online. But both services say the data, which is being offered for sale on darknet forums, was scraped from public-facing pages. So what buyers would be paying for is getting access to all of this public information at once. The story is different, however, with the latest Facebook data breach to come to light. Earlier this month, 533 million users' details - including phone numbers that were set to not display on their profiles - were being offered for free online after having been available for purchase. In response, Facebook said attackers had obtained the data "not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform," apparently by abusing an API that Facebook built to allow users to find each other. "If you provide an API … work on the assumption of it being abused." —Troy Hunt Experts say the resulting records, linking people's names, email addresses, phone numbers and more, are a potential gold mine for fraudsters and phishers (see: Facebook Tries to 'Scrape' Its Way Through Another Breach). Ireland's Data Protection Commission is probing the breach, in line with its authority to enforce the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Facebook says it's attempting to trace the posted information back, and it has suggested that the data dump may include information amassed from multiple sources, not all of them involving private information held by the social network and its ancillary services. LinkedIn: 'Not a Data Breach' While a Facebook feature appears to have exposed private data for more than a half-billion users, the story looks different for LinkedIn and Clubhouse. Last week, a cybercrime forum seller began advertising 500 million LinkedIn records, offering 2 million of the records as a sampler for $2 in forum credits and access to all records for a four-figure sum, CyberNews first reported. The seller said the profiles included "emails, phone and other details." In a statement released on Thursday, LinkedIn said the data involves only information that is already publicly accessible via its site and may have been combined with information from other sites. "We have investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale and have determined that it is actually an aggregation of data from a number of websites and companies," LinkedIn says. "It does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn. This was not a LinkedIn data breach, and no private member account data from LinkedIn was included in what we've been able to review." In other words, while seeing so much user data get amassed in one place might be concerning - and of use to social engineers and others - this information was already in circulation. Clubhouse Data Also Scraped The same also appears to be true for Clubhouse, which saw information from about 1.3 million user profiles get posted on a cybercrime forum on or around Saturday. The poster said that the data had been scraped from Clubhouse using one of its APIs. Clubhouse is an iOS-based app that enables users to set up virtual audio chat rooms, to which most participants will then be listening in. The service, which launched early last year, is still invite-only, but the Guardian reports that buzz over Clubhouse has been building, especially after Tesla founder Elon Musk used it in February to host a popular chat. The scraped Clubhouse data includes name and username, user ID, profile photo, number of followers, number of other Clubhouse users followed, an account creation date, who invited the user to the platform and sometimes Instagram and Twitter handles. The data does not include personally identifiable information, such as phone numbers, email addresses or other sensitive information. In a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday, Clubhouse denied that it had been breached or hacked after reports emerged that user data had appeared on the cybercrime forum. This is misleading and false. Clubhouse has not been breached or hacked. The data referred to is all public profile information from our app, which anyone can access via the app or our API. https://t.co/I1OfPyc0Bo— Clubhouse (@joinClubhouse) April 11, 2021 Clubhouse officials didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment. Expert View: The API Challenge The posted Clubhouse data poses no risk to users, says Jane Manchun Wong, a Hong Kong-based software engineer and security researcher who often blogs about unreleased features in popular applications. "The kind of data gathered here is no different than going to someone's Clubhouse profile and taking a screenshot," Wong says. The data was likely scraped using one of Clubhouse's "private" APIs or one that is used by its app to retrieve data, Wong says. Whoever downloaded the data may have simply cycled through user IDs sequentially, she says. Not seeing any private info in this "leaked data" of Clubhouse The user IDs are numerical. So it just seems like someone scraped the data by hitting Clubhouse's private API, iterating from user ID 1 to beyond https://t.co/MBWG46JmCB— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 11, 2021 Services generally use rate-limiting and other defensive measures to ensure their APIs aren't abused. Wong says that if the data was obtained by iterating through numerical user IDs, Clubhouse should have enabled rate limiting on its private API if it does not already do that, because its users have an expectation of privacy. But even with rate limiting, amassing all of this information would still be possible. "It'll only be slower, but it can still be done," Wong says. Troy Hunt, creator of the free Have I Been Pwned data breach notification service, says APIs pose this paradox: If developers want to make users discoverable to other users, it's difficult to ensure that the underlying API will only be used for that purpose - in other words, by only the right users and for the right reasons. "If you provide an API, regardless what you protect with rate limiting," expect that whatever data it touches "will be aggregated," Hunt says. "You work on the assumption of it being abused." Source: A Tale of 3 Data 'Leaks': Clubhouse, LinkedIn, Facebook
  3. LinkedIn Users Targeted by Spear-Phishing Campaign Security researchers are warning LinkedIn users to beware of unsolicited job offers after revealing a new spear-phishing campaign designed to install Trojan malware on their devices. The eSentire Threat Response Unit (TRU) yesterday claimed that individuals were being targeted with customized files named the same as their own current role. “Upon opening the fake job offer, the victim unwittingly initiates the stealthy installation of the fileless backdoor, more_eggs. Once loaded, the sophisticated backdoor can download additional malicious plugins and provide hands-on access to the victim’s computer,” it continued. “The threat group behind more_eggs, Golden Chickens, sell the backdoor under a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) arrangement to other cyber-criminals.” Once more_eggs is installed, the backdoor can be used by Golden Chickens customers to further their own campaigns, by infecting with additional malware like ransomware, credential stealers and banking Trojans, warned eSentire. Backdoor access could also be used to find and exfiltrate sensitive data from the victims’ machine, it added. The group is thought to be taking advantage of the high number of COVID-19 redundancies in the US to spread this email campaign, whilst including the victim’s own LinkedIn job position as the name of the malicious Zip file to increase the chances of them opening it. The Trojan also abuses legitimate Windows processes such as WMI to evade detection by traditional AV tools. The campaign is similar to one from 2019 in which employees of US retail, entertainment and pharmaceutical companies were targeted by the same more_eggs Trojan disguised as a job offer matching their own current position, eSentire claimed. Noted Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups including FIN6, Cobalt Group and Evilnum have all been spotted in the past using more_eggs in their attacks, although it’s unclear who is behind the Golden Chickens group. Source: LinkedIn Users Targeted by Spear-Phishing Campaign
  4. LinkedIn says it will stop repeatedly copying iOS clipboard TikTok was caught doing the same thing Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images LinkedIn plans to stop its app from repeatedly copying the contents of an iOS device’s clipboard, after a user highlighted the seemingly privacy-invasive practice earlier this week. ZDNet reports that LinkedIn called the behavior a bug. The app copies clipboard contents in order to perform an “equality check” between what a user is typing and what’s in their clipboard, according to LinkedIn engineering VP Erran Berger. Berger did not say why this check was necessary. “We don’t store or transmit the clipboard contents,” Berger wrote on Twitter. The behavior was discovered thanks to a new privacy feature in iOS 14, which is currently in a limited beta for developers. The operating system now notifies users when an app copies something from another app or device. This has led to people spotting questionable behavior from apps that appear to copy clipboard contents with every keystroke. LinkedIn was called out in a tweet on Thursday from a person who said LinkedIn’s iPad app was copying contents from other sources, such as a notes app. A LinkedIn spokesperson pointed The Verge to Berger’s tweet when asked for comment. Berger wrote that LinkedIn would follow up “once the fix is live in our app.” TikTok was called out for similar behavior last week. The app similarly appeared to be repeatedly grabbing clipboard contents as a user typed, leading to concern that it was spying on data from other apps. TikTok said the behavior was part of an “anti-spam” feature and that it would discontinue the practice. As iOS 14 rolls out more widely — a public beta is expected in the coming weeks — it’s likely we’ll learn of other apps with similarly discomforting clipboard copying behaviors. LinkedIn says it will stop repeatedly copying iOS clipboard
  5. LinkedIn blocked or removed 21.6 million fake accounts on its platform from January to June of this year, a sign that the Microsoft-owned social network is actively fighting some of the same issues that have plagued Facebook, Twitter and others. In a blog post, LinkedIn’s Head of Trust and Safety Paul Rockwell wrote that the vast majority of the fake accounts — 19.5 million — were blocked at the registration stage, meaning they never went live on the network. The company spotted another 2 million fake accounts, and members flagged 67,000 more accounts. LinkedIn said 98 percent of the fake accounts were blocked or removed through the network’s automated defenses, and the rest were captured by humans. “We want to make sure our community continues to be a valuable resource for you; one that creates opportunities to find jobs, make connections and grow careers,” Rockwell wrote. “When we stop fake accounts, we start more chances for economic opportunity. We are committed to using every measure available to maintain your safety, allowing everyone to access economic opportunity while feeling supported and secure.” Social media has been at the forefront of a major political controversy in recent weeks. Twitter this week suspended 936 accounts linked to what it called “a significant state-backed information operation” that originated in China to try and undermine anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Another 200,000 accounts were “proactively suspended before they were substantially active on the service,” Twitter said. Facebook followed suit by removing several accounts, groups and pages after getting a tip from Twitter. As the New York Times reported last week, LinkedIn has largely avoided the issues of disinformation and harassment that have haunted Facebook and Twitter in recent years. Experts interviewed by the Times chalked it up to LinkedIn’s existence as the online extension of the office. People tend to be on better behavior in front of their boss, co-workers and potential future employers. “You talk on LinkedIn the same way you talk in the office,” LinkedIn Editor In Chief Dan Roth told the Times. “There are certain boundaries around what is acceptable.” However, LinkedIn has dealt with its share of issues around fake profiles. Earlier this year, Digiday documented the experiences of executives who receive a high volume of messages from what appear to be fake accounts with strange requests and poor grammar and syntax. LinkedIn, today has 645 million members around the globe. It produced more than $5.3 billion in revenue for Microsoft last year. As the Times notes, that is about half of Facebook-owned Instagram’s revenue and about one-tenth of Facebook as a whole. It’s also twice the amount of revenue Twitter brought in last year. Source
  6. DUBLIN (Reuters) - Microsoft’s Linkedin, a social network for professionals, on Thursday said it would add 800 new jobs to its European headquarters in Dublin, the latest technology company to boost its presence in Ireland. The move underscores signs that hiring in Ireland remains robust despite neighboring Britain’s planned departure from the Europe Union and a slowdown in global economic growth. Foreign companies account for around one in 10 jobs among Ireland’s more than two million workers, benefiting from a corporate tax rate of just 12.5%. The European Commission in August 2016 ordered Ireland to recover 13 billion euros from Apple because of an illegal tax deal which gave the company an unfair advantage in breach of the bloc’s state aid rules. But the ruling has done little to slow the flow of multinational jobs into Ireland, with the amount of new roles growing at a record pace last year. Facebook said in January that it would hire 1,000 more people in Dublin this year. U.S. cloud software maker Salesforce has also said it planned to add 1,500 jobs over the next five years, one of the largest job commitments in the 70-year history of the state’s foreign investment agency. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Linkedin, which has more than 630 million members around the world, said the new employees will be based at a new 150,000 square foot development in central Dublin due for completion toward the end of next year. Source
  7. LinkedIn introduces new tools to help you prep for your interviews LinkedIn allows you to prepare for the most common interview questions and get advice and tips from leading career experts, hiring managers, and professional recruiters. In the coming weeks, the service will also allow users to view short, easily digestible videos to learn how to approach each of these commonly asked interview questions. Premium members will also get exclusive access to expert-approved sample interview answers so you can see how you might approach the top interview questions. These interview preparation resources will be rolling out on the mobile app as well as on the desktop in English speaking countries starting this month. As part of the new set of tools, LinkedIn will allow you to privately practice answering interview questions, self-evaluate, and improve by reviewing your recorded answers at your convenience. Later this summer, you’d also get the ability to privately share your recordings with your trusted LinkedIn connections to get feedback, coaching, and advice. The company claims that they’ve found that 54 percent of job seekers say the interview phase is “moderately to extremely challenging” due to uncertainty and lack of confidence. While LinkedIn is the primary resource to connect with recruiters as well as research your interviewer and the learn more about the company you’re interviewing with, the new suite of tools will help users prepare more effectively to crush their next interview. Source
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