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Date: Thu, 19 May 2016 19:20:39 +0200
From: Per Thorsheim <>
Subject: Re: Complete Linkedin breach from 2012 up for sale

Well, I have my part confirming the authenticity of the leak and calling
the media screaming "change your Linkedin passwords now!". Obviously
there are stories from before that, and up until now to be told as well.


Den 19.05.2016 16.20, skrev Matt Weir:
> I stand corrected. With LinkedIn confirming this dataset it looks legit.
> Now I'm really interested in the story behind the original breach!
> Matt
> On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, Matt Weir <
> <>> wrote:
>     >>  From a hackers perspective I would say
>     >. the data are of less interest, but for our research interests I say very
>     >> interesting. :-)
>     I agree with you 100%. Having duplicate passwords is huge when it
>     comes to password research. That's one of the primary reasons people
>     still use the RockYou list.
>     My only point was that I'm skeptical about this particular hacker's
>     claims :)
>     Matt
>     On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 8:16 AM, Per Thorsheim <
>     <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','');>> wrote:
>         Den 18.05.2016 14.05, skrev Matt Weir:
>         > While I have no doubt the original password list is out there with
>         > usernames, my gut feeling is that this isn't that list.
>         Hm. Well, I don't have 5 BTC, and if I had I still wouldn't make the
>         purchase. There's a line I won't cross over.
>         > Matt's Gut:
>         >
>         > 1) The LinkedIn breach was for all intents a breach of unique passwords,
>         > (yes there were some duplicates with the hash error). Based on past
>         > breaches I'd expect the full list to be slightly greater than twice as
>         > big. For example, there were around 14 million unique passwords in
>         > RockYou with a total size of 32 million. This means my guess is the full
>         > LinkedIn breach will be around 13 ~ 16 million passwords. This dump is
>         > 117 million.
>         Joseph Bonneau had a guesstimate of 5.8M unique passwords (from the
>         alleged 6.5M unique hashes) would be approx 12.5M users. See his
>         blog
>         post from 2012 on that here:
>         > 2) The dump we saw in 2012 might not account for all the unique
>         > passwords the attacker stole. That being said, I suspect that the public
>         > dump represents a vast majority of the unique hashes stolen. This is
>         > based on personal experience, (most people I've talked to had their
>         > passwords in that breach), and how the list became public in the first
>         > place. Aka the hackers contracted with a 3rd party to crack the hashes
>         > who then posted them on InsidePro for other people to crack them. The
>         > plaintext passwords don't appear to be a set that was broken up with
>         > individual chunks given to multiple people to crack.
>         The 2012 leak was only unique SHA-1 hashes. Now there are emails and
>         names as well, according to both Troy & Motherboard. If not the full
>         leak, then at least additional info from the 6.5M chunk released
>         in 2012.
>         > Now I certainly could be wrong. I trust Troy Hunt and he verified some
>         > of the e-mail + password combos in the 1 million sample given to
>         > motherboard. My guess there though is that some subset of those e-mail +
>         > passwords were stolen some other way, (perhaps phishing).
>         Well, its been almost 4 years. From a hackers perspective I
>         would say
>         the data are of less interest, but for our research interests I
>         say very
>         interesting. :-)
>         > Long story short, the full list is absolutely out there. I expect this
>         > list is mostly fake or a combination of old dumps and the "hacker" is
>         > just trying to make a name for themselves and some money. If the full
>         > LinkedIn list is in fact what's being sold, it was likely combined with
>         > other lists to make it look bigger.
>         Well, until somebody spends the 5 BTC or the data gets public we
>         won't
>         really know. Unless those with the data at hand does more to
>         prove their
>         authenticity. Time will show.
>         .per

Best regards,
Per Thorsheim
Founder of
CEO of
Phone: +47 90 99 92 59
Twitter: @thorsheim

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