Hacking at LinkedIn Highlights PR’s Critical Role in Data Breaches

On the morning of June 6, 2012, reports began circulating that about 6 million passwords attached to professional social network LinkedIn’s accounts had been compromised. The same day, in response, LinkedIn issued a press release generally acknowledging the breach while vowing to invalidate passwords of the affected accounts, and promising to send a series of e-mails to members with affected accounts. LinkedIn’s initial actions on that day couldn’t prevent a groundswell of criticism that has dogged the company since, centering on the handling of the crisis and how a hack by an overseas forum could occur inside a top technology company in Silicon Valley. As a longtime LinkedIn user and a monthly paid subscriber to its professional offering, Jason Maloni, senior VP at Levick Strategic Communications, was disappointed by LinkedIn’s response to its members. “They should have had a little button or alert on my homepage that stated ‘click for more information’ for my benefit,” says Maloni.

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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