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Networking Website LinkedIn is being Sued for ‘Hack and Spam’ Attacks on Members

Dailymail.co.uk reported on 25th September, 2013 stating that professional networking company LinkedIn, having in excess of 225 million users, is supposedly being sued for 'hacking' into address books of users and sending out invites or marketing spam e-mails.

Four USA-based LinkedIn users filed a court case in California, US, in search of unnamed damages from the firm for its supposed "hack and spam operation".

The lawsuit asserts that LinkedIn 'hacks' into email accounts of user's before harvesting email addresses and sending spam emails to their contact list, advertising its goods and services without taking the user's permission or password.

The plaintiffs allege that the emails drafted to convince recipients to sign in for LinkedIn, enclose the name of the LinkedIn member and his alleged likeness so that it emerges that he's endorsing LinkedIn.

The lawsuit asserts that information of users was taken "secretly" and seeks redress for violation of federal wiretap law in addition to California's privacy laws.

Deborah Lagutaris, a LinkedIn user, alleged that over 3,000 people on her address list received invitations from LinkedIn in her username, as published by independent.co.uk on September 24, 2013.

When she inquired LinkedIn, the social network replied "You can delete all those invitations from your account as we at LinkedIn are unaware of what happened". Later, Lagutaris had to add a disclaimer on her page stating that she was not sending these unsolicited emails.

LinkedIn is fighting the lawsuit claiming that accusations against it are false.

It (referring to LinkedIn) states that it takes individual security very seriously and does not send any invitations on user's behalf without their prior permission.

Iol.co.za published a statement on 25th September, 2013 quoting a blog of Blake Lawit, LinkedIn's Head of Litigation, as "members opt to upload their email contact list to LinkedIn. We 'break into' or 'hack' accounts of members are untrue." Mr.Lawit also added: "We never betray you by acting to be you in order to gain access to your email account.

Last year (in 2012) users of LinkedIn protested that they were being flooded by spam emails after the social network was breached and hashed passwords of LinkedIn users dumped on the Internet.

» SPAMfighter News - 10/4/2013

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