LinkedIn investigates alleged password leak

Password protection

Members of business-focused social networking site LinkedIn are being urged to change their login details, following reports that millions of users may have had their passwords leaked online.

The company confirmed on Twitter it is investigating the possibility that nearly 6.5 million user passwords have been posted on a Russian web forum.

The tweet read: "Our team is currently looking into reports of stolen passwords. Stay tuned for more."

Despite the fact the leak has not been confirmed, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security vendor Sophos, said users should consider changing their passwords anyway.

In a post on the Sophos Naked Security blog, Cluley stated: "Although the data [that] 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.

"As such, it would seem sensible to suggest to Linkedin users that they change their passwords as soon as possible as a precautionary step," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.