online

How James Packer’s LinkedIn page was stolen, and how to protect yours

SmartCompany /

Entrepreneurs are being warned to monitor their social network profiles after James Packer’s LinkedIn page was impersonated, and over 150 contacts invited to become “friends” with the imposter.

Entrepreneurs are being warned to monitor their social network profiles after James Packer’s LinkedIn page was impersonated, and over 150 contacts invited to become “friends” with the imposter.

The bogus profile, complete with a picture of Packer at a black-tie event, managed to trick 150 high profile contacts into becoming online “friends” – releasing their personal details in the process. Experts warn the instances of these forgeries are becoming more common.

Nick Ellsmore, chief executive of information security firm SIFT, says there needs to be an assumption that anything put on a social networking profile could eventually become public.

“You can control membership and friendship, but if you start from the initial assumption that all of the connections we put in there could potentially end up in the public domain then that gives a good indication of what should or shouldn’t be included.”

LinkedIn – a corporate and upscale version of networking site Facebook – allows professionals to share present and past employer information, fields of expertise, job titles, associations and general interests.

If an imposter were to gain access to a high ranking LinkedIn profile of a “friend”, any corporate information in that profile would be released, including resumes and the names of colleagues.

“In terms of security, then it’s the same things we’ve been saying for years. Have a strong password. Don’t give that password out to anyone. Have a firewall running, and have anti-virus software running.”

But Ellsmore says when someone is impersonating another person, there isn’t much that can be done.

“It relies on context. If I received an invitation from James Packer – I’d probably think it was dicey. I don’t know him. But if I dealt with James every day and said he was going to invite me, I’d probably think it was legit.”

Peter Coroneos, chief executive of the Internet Industry Association, says while social networking security is a challenge, improvements are being made in other areas that may cross over.

“You’re relying on more than just a login now. In the case of banking, you’re required to have something physical in your possession. It might be an SMS system or whatever. We’re moving towards systems that rely on something for which proof of identity has previously been provided,” he says.

“We would imagine the ultimate solutions that will derive between there – they won’t require full identification, but we are seeing a move towards better forms of identification for social networking.”

Related articles:

Advertisement
SmartCompany

SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

We Recommend

FROM AROUND THE WEB