Commentary: Leaks from social networks heighten need for two-factor authentication

The data that was leaked from LinkedIn and Facebook could be used by hackers. It is recommended to use two-factor authentication wherever possible

Eyal Pinko. Photo courtesy of the writer

The leak of data from LinkedIn came just a number of days after it was discovered that data was also leaked from Facebook

Recently, one of the major cyber news websites reported a giant leak of data from the LinkedIn social network. The data leak, which was enabled by a sophisticated cyberattack, exposed more than 500 million user accounts. The data that includes personal details, passwords, contact information and credit card information, is now being offered for sale on various hacker forums on the dark net.  

The leak of data from LinkedIn came just a number of days after it was discovered that data from more than 550 million users was leaked from Facebook. This database is being offered for sale to anyone at a price of about $10,000. Some people may ask "So what?" Well, besides the forbidden use of credit card information, the main threat from the stealing of this data is fraud and identity theft.  

In 2020, more than four million cases of identity theft were reported worldwide. Identity theft is the criminal use of a different identity, such as for breaching servers and websites, but mainly for perpetrating financial crime, such as opening bank accounts, taking loans, ordering credit cards and more.   

The data that was leaked from LinkedIn and Facebook may be used by hackers to steal identities and then use those identities for their needs. It is highly recommended for all users of social networks to switch their passwords for websites and even to switch their passwords for email services. In all these cases, it is recommended to use the option of two-factor authentication. In addition, it is recommended to continuously be on the lookout for unknown credit card charges. 

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