Hackers Used Amazon's Cloud To Scrape LinkedIn User Data

Hackers have been using Amazon’s powerful data center computers to scrape data from thousands of LinkedIn accounts in order to create fake profiles on the site, according to a new complaint the company has filed in the U.S. district court of Northern California.

As ZDNET’s Eileen Brown reports, LinkedIn believes that these fake accounts are “undermining its integrity as a platform.”

When people look to connect with others on LinkedIn, they’re generally hoping to do so for professional reasons. Unlike Twitter, where fake parody accounts making fun of the tweeting habits of celebrities are simply the norm, people go on LinkedIn expecting that the accounts they see are real people.

If that isn’t the case, then recruiters and job hunters might feel like they’re wasting their time. To counter this, LinkedIn has blocked and investigated the source of these fake accounts, tracing them back to “virtual machines” running atop Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as “EC2.”

With its complaint in court, LinkedIn is hoping to speed up the process of discovering the real identities of the hackers behind this unintended use of its platform under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the California Penal Code.

You can read the full complaint in the embedded document below:

LinkedIn v John Does (Bots Case) by jeff_roberts881

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.