Thursday, January 9, 2014

LinkedIn Files Lawsuit against Fake Account Creators

LinkedIn filed a lawsuit against 10 people who created thousands of abusive accounts, according to the Wall Street Journal. The action comes less than two months after security experts warned about fake recruiters enticing users of the social network with well-paid jobs.

On Monday, LinkedIn filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The social network’s representatives said they deleted the fake profiles and traced them to an account registered at cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services.

One of the fake LinkedIn profiles
was put up by an attractive,
bogus recruiter, named Annabella Erica. 
LinkedIn accused the suspects of distributing malware on computers and puffing up users’ profiles. The business-focused network said cyber-criminals violated its user agreement by creating multiple fake accounts that stole data from legitimate profiles through a method known as scraping.

“It undermines the integrity and effectiveness of LinkedIn’s platform in several ways,” court documents read. “The world’s professionals utilize LinkedIn with the expectation that its contents are accurate and its user profiles legitimate.”

Court documents show no evidence that the fake-account creators tried to break into LinkedIn systems. The filing doesn’t specify what the suspects were doing with the fake resumes, either.

LinkedIn asked Amazon Web Services for the names of the owners of the bogus accounts. The cloud computing giant did not immediately respond to a request for comment, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In November, experts warned about fake LinkedIn profiles that gather personal details and lead users to dangerous websites. Amid research into the growing number of social media scams, ESET detected several virulent campaigns that lured victims with exciting job offers from attractive female recruiters.

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