LinkedIn lawsuit: Following security breach, company hit with $5m suit

We wondered how long it would be before a LinkedIn-related lawsuit popped up following its recent security breach, and we now have the answer: about nine days.

Illinois resident Katie Szpyrka filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against LinkedIn in the US District Court in the Northern District of California on June 15, claiming the business-oriented social networking site violated its own user agreement and privacy policy. The move comes in relation to a security breach around June 6 when LinkedIn admitted that encrypted passwords belonging to some 6.5 million of its 160 million users had been stolen and posted on the web.

Szpyrka’s action accuses the company of “failing to properly safeguard its users’ digitally stored personally identifiable information” and also of “failing to utilize long-standing industry standard protocols and technology” to protect users.

Szpyrka, who pays a monthly fee of $26.95 for a premium LinkedIn account, says the networking site used an alarmingly weak encryption format whereby it failed to ‘salt’ the passwords before storing them. Put simply, salting passwords adds another layer of security, making them more difficult for hackers to crack.

It looks like Szpyrka might have a point. On June 12, six days after the breach came to light, LinkedIn issued a statement saying it had added improved security measures for its users, explaining that it had completed a “long-planned transition” to a new security system — a system that salts passwords.

According to LinkedIn spokesperson Erin O’Harra, the company is more than ready to defend itself against any claims. In an email to Cnet on Tuesday, she described the allegations as “without merit.”

“No member account has been breached as a result of the incident, and we have no reason to believe that any LinkedIn member has been injured,” she said. “Therefore, it appears that these threats are driven by lawyers looking to take advantage of the situation.”

Included in the lawsuit are US-based users of the site who had an account with LinkedIn on or before June 6.

[Source: ZDNet, Cnet]

Features

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Computing

Use one of these password managers to stay safe online

The internet can be a scary place, especially if you don't have a proper passcode manager. This guide will show you the best password managers you can get right now, including both premium and free options. Find the right password software…
Cars

Whistleblower says a drug-peddling Mexican cartel thrives in Tesla’s Gigafactory

A former Tesla employee says the firm covered up links between some of its workers and a Mexican drug cartel, spied on its employees by wiretapping their phones, and failed to report a $37 million theft. Tesla denies the claims.
Mobile

Google may finally create its first flagship store in Chicago

Google is reportedly nearing an agreement on a lease for its first flagship retail store. The store will be located in Chicago, and will presumably be where the company shows off Google Pixel phones and other hardware.
Mobile

Sixth public beta of iOS 12 still lacks one key feature

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Photography

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Photography

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Social Media

Instagram hackers are changing account info into Russian email addresses

Have you logged in to your Instagram lately? A hack circulating this month has Instagram users locked out of their accounts because a hacker changed all the profile data, according to a report.
Social Media

New deal suggests Facebook is looking to add sweet interactive tools for Live

Facebook now owns a company that specializes in creating interactive live video experiences with polls, viewer comments, and more. Vidpresso says the change will help it bring the interactive tools to more users.
Social Media

How to use Adobe Spark Post to spice up your social media images

Images are proven to get more likes than plain text -- but only if those images are good. Adobe Spark post is an AI-powered design program for non-designers. Here's how to use it to take your social media feeds to the next level.
Photography

18 seconds of fame: Giphy’s quirky new GIF film festival has a $10K prize

Have a knack for creating GIFs? Someone is going to win $10,000 for a video that's 18 seconds or less at the Giphy Film Festival. The new contest is set to recognize the top creator for the short micro-films in five different categories.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts.