LinkedIn Security Hacks, Breaches & Missed Marketing Opportunities

LinkedIn Logo HackedAs a marketer there is nothing I hate to see more than a missed opportunity. Okay, one worse thing is a messed up, missed opportunity.

By now hopefully it's old news to you that LinkedIn was hacked. At minimum 6.5 million people had their LinkedIn passwords at risk of being breached via the hacking of their profiles. I am not going to go into detail on this now but have included a few links at the bottom of this post.

As I did a few searches this morning for what the latest was with LinkedIn and what our team needed to do to protect ourselves I was a bit shocked with what I found.

You know the old saying about how people do the same thing everyone else is doing even if it's not the right line, longest line or could do harm? Well, this is a perfect scenario of such.


1. Site created by @Shiflett claims to check if your account was hacked by LinkedIn. I don't want to link to it from here because I am not sure if it will someday be put on a black list, so don't want to risk it being linked from my blog or other sites where my blog gets syndicated.

leakedin dot org

2. People were sharing the link virally across the web to help their friends be safe and know if there account was hacked. Forbes and Mashable even wrote about it.


3. The site was using the LinkedIn logo as the Favicon.LinkedIn Logo


4. If the site confirms you were hacked you get this message:


LinkedIn Hacked

5. If site confirms you did not get hacked, you get this message:

LinkedIn Not Hacked

6. This would leave one to believe that they are either a victim or not a victim. No where on the site does it state or not state that they are associated with LinkedIn. However, the content definitely leads one to believe that they are, since they state they will tell you if you are a victim or not?

7. Worse, when you click on the “sorry friends” link, you are taken to one of their projects. A share toolbar of some sort. Similar to the main page there is no explanation of what the bar is or why you should give a rip.


8. I tweeted about my concern for the site and the way the team was misleading folks. Below are a few of the tweets that resulted.

9. I think their team definitely gets an “A” in creativity and agility / time to market. However, it is also clear they took advantage of people who were desperate for information, mislead them to some degree and in the end push them to a page with their own product/project versus using the opportunity to make new friends via trust and good, accurate information.

10. My point is I think they truly missed an opportunity to connect in a more genuine way with a market that had their eyes on them.


What Should Have Happened!  

They look like a great team, smart, have good coding experience, etc. Heck, we are always in need of good geek programmers and I am currently seeking some geeks to partner with for some of the fab ideas busting out of my head. It's what errrked me about this whole scenario. It's the missed opportunity.

Had they instead done the following I would be a good sum of money their ROI would be much higher than their current approach of a little fact, a little persuasion and a little misrepresentation.

What They Should Have Done…

1. Branded the page clearly with their names & their brand for maximum brand awareness. Keep it simple and let it be known it was a beta page thrown up for fun.

2. Show their geek side. Explain how & why they launched the site. They link to the blog post but many didn't notice it and felt played by the LinkedIn logo & lack of content on first landing page.

3. Be honest. Explain what it is and what it is not. LinkedIn has not validated that you are a victim or not by running the test on this page.

4. Delete, remove, scratch the push to their own project sharebar or whatever it is. Be my friend first, get to know me then sell me.

5. Invite me to their Facebook page for ongoing conversation or a quick Pinterest board where they commit to posting updates.

6. Add an easy to find opportunity to opt-in to their email updates.

7. They could then leverage the email to create an ongoing relationship with you and me. They could later tell me about the bookmark/sharebar and I might actually take time look and learn.

I tried sharing some of these tips with them via Twitter when they chimed into my discussions several times. They didn't seem too interested and seem to think they have it all figured out.

All I can say is “good luck on that one!”


So What Should You Do About the Breached Passwords: 

1. Change the password

2. Change all site passwords that used the same passwords.

3. Do a security check on your user names/ passwords on all sites.

4. Don't give your passwords to strangers, even if they are nice. These guys were nice I think. However, what if they had of been bad nice guys? 😉


LinkedIn Hack Twitter Conversation

LinkedIn Hack Twit Coverage

LinkedIn Hack Coverage


LinkedIn Twitter Hacked @Shiflett Conversation


More Information on LinkedIn Security Hack: 

Forbes: LinkedIn Passwords Breach Draws FBI Attention

The Next Web: Bad Day For LinkedIn 65 Million Hashed Passwords Reportedly Leaked – Change Yours Now

PC World: Update LinkedIn Confirms Account Passwords Hacked

LinkedIn Blog

Taking Steps to Protect Our Members 6/7/12

An Update on LinkedIn Member Passwords Compromised 6/6/12

Updating Your Password on LinkedIn & Other Security Best Practices 6/6/12


About the Author:

CEO / Founder Marketing Nutz, full service social media, digital marketing, experiential brand, conversion optimization agency. Ranked by Forbes as Top 10 Social Media Women and 10 Social Media Power Influencer. Keynote speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. Helps businesses of all sizes integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups.


  1. AdamBritten June 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I hadn’t heard of this site, so I am looking around now. You’re right, does seem like a bit of a missed opportunity. Although I do think it’s clever, and they managed to get it up while everyone still (relatively) cared about the issue, so I do have to give them some credit for that.

    • PamMktgNut June 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

       @AdamBritten I agree. They definitely deserve some credit. Wouldn’t have written it if I didn’t think such 😉  Although they could also probably use a marketing gal or guy on the team if they don’t already have one. Could have been night & day better return with a little TLC 😉

      • AdamBritten June 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm

         @PamMktgNut Definitely could have used a marketing person to look this over.

  2. donatus_ami June 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    @CompanyFounder om folbck haha

  3. RobertDempsey June 8, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Hi Pam, I didn’t know that LinkedIn was hacked. I’m glad I use a password generator on all the sites I have accounts on. And I wondered why they wanted me to reset my password when I logged in today.
    So as for the company you mentioned, it seems they tried to leapfrog a few of the relationship building steps there. Using trademarked LI assets wasn’t a good idea either, though I see why they did it (the trust thing). Still, that’s on the wrong side of the ethical line.
    Good on them for hopping on top of this. Not so much for the entire execution of it.

    • PamMktgNut June 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

       @RobertDempsey What password generator do you use? I think I should start using one. I have an algorithm I use and carry a black book around the house and sometimes in a spreadsheet when they make it there 😉 I really think my system could use an upgrade! lol 

      • RobertDempsey June 23, 2012 at 12:03 am

         @PamMktgNut I use an app called 1Password. It works on everything, and I can sync between my Mac (all browsers), iPhone and iPad. Works like a charm.

  4. robertlburns June 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Thanks Pam, I agree, poor execution and I agree great opportunity lost 

  5. SocialMediaSean June 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

     @PamMktgNut Excellent post Pam. The ideas you present of what they should of done are like Gold to the right company.  I followed the LinkedIN  tweets closely of their  two twitter accounts and was surprised by how little they where tweeting.
    I wonder are companies like LinkedIN still scared of the “conversation.”

    • PamMktgNut June 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm

       @SocialMediaSean I agree Sean. I saw the same thing and was very surprised how little communication LinkedIn did during the issues (and still are.) Huge missed opportunity. 

  6. […] password scandal on LinkedIn. Well, Pam Moore, one of our favorite social media thought leaders, discovered a site that (she claims) takes advantage of people trying to figure out if their account was hacked. She […]

  7. ginarau June 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Great article, Pam and your ideas on what they should have done are spot on. I work at Janrain, who’s roots are in allowing people to use an existing identity to sign in or engage with websites to avoid this very problem of organizations storing user passwords that can be compromised. As soon as I went to that site a few days ago, I took one look and bounced out. It appeared a bit shady (since they used the LI favicon) and there was no way that I was handing over my password. The site did nothing to make me feel safe and secure.
    I’m equally impressed and praise their creativity. Next time, I hope they consult with a smart marketer to help with the finishing touches. 

    • PamMktgNut June 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm

       @ginarau Agree on all points. So hard to see missed opportunities that could be exponentially better with a few small tweaks. Kudos to them though for the fast launch and grab of an opp. 

  8. PamMktgNut June 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    @shaanhaider thank you!

    • shaanhaider June 10, 2012 at 12:42 am

      @PamMktgNut You are welcome, Pam… Thanks for the constant support and help. Have a great Sunday 🙂

      • PamMktgNut June 10, 2012 at 12:56 am

        @shaanhaider Pleasure! Love your content. We are all better as a team than one! 🙂

        • shaanhaider June 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

          @PamMktgNut Very well said.. We all are better together. Cheers 🙂

  9. PamMktgNut June 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    @confluencemedia thanks a mill for the RT luvs! How’s your Sat?

  10. PamMktgNut June 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    @B2BSalesExpert thanks a mill Michael!!

  11. PamMktgNut June 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    @mikefixs Thanks Mikey! How are ya’?

    • mikefixs June 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

      @PamMktgNut Going great … and you?

  12. PamMktgNut June 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    @kathikruse thanks Kathi! Let’s catch up this week! Enjoy the rest of your wknd!

  13. PamMktgNut June 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    @MeghanMBiro thanks a mill Meghan! How ya be this wknd?

  14. PamMktgNut June 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    @loretobgude @douglasi @Reeph thx all for the RT luvs!

  15. PamMktgNut June 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    @danielnewmanUV Thanks Daniel!! You are so on my list of peeps to talk to. I may finally have some time the next couple weeks!

  16. PamMktgNut June 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    @BrandFlair Thanks John!

  17. Kevin June 18, 2012 at 8:20 am

    And what about LinkedIn itself? They should have ‘guided’ their users, should’ve taken the opportunity to turn this around and score some extra ‘good marketing’ points. I was really surprised they failed to do that.

    • PamMktgNut June 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Yes, I agree 100%. Missed opportunity from @LinkedIn as well! I even sent them a few tweets and received zero response which is unlike them.  

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