Intro will enable LinkedIn to have the IP address of all of your staff using it, and thus (from corp Wifi, home locations of staff, popular places your staff go) they will know which IP addresses relate to your staff members (or you individually if you are the only person on a given IP).
This means that even without logging onto LinkedIn, if you view a page on their site they can then create that "so and so viewed your profile", which is what they're selling to other users as the upgrade package to LinkedIn.
Worse than that, as a company you can pay to have LinkedIn data available when you process your log files, and from that you know which companies viewed your site. And that isn't based on vague ideas of which IPs belong to a company according to public registrar info, this is quality data as the people who visited from an IP told LinkedIn who they were.
Think of that when you're doing competitor analysis, or involved in any legal case and researching the web site of the other party.
And VPNs won't help you here, as you'd still be strongly identified on your device and leaking your IP address all the time.
There are so many reasons why this LinkedIn feature needs to die a very visible and public death, and very few about why it should survive. It's a neat hack for sure, but then so were most pop-up and pop-under adverts and the neatness of overcoming the "impossible" is no reason this should survive.
NOTE: Contact information is supplied by the contact databases of Data.com (formerly Jigsaw), NetProspex and LinkedIn. Not all information will be available for every company and listing, however, your reports will show all the data we are able to access for you.
So for a real world example that he told me about a few hours ago, a lady was on his website. She left without doing anything more than viewing a few pages. Through Visistat, he was able to get her company name and contact information from LinkedIn. He looked up the phone number for her company and called her. He then said, "I understand you're interest in ..." She replied, "How did you know I am interested in ...?"
This is spooky as shit and almost made me delete my LinkedIn profile today.
These friends of mine discovered it while browsing an airline website, each with his own laptop, only to discover different prices being offered. Which they found very strange, given they were seated next to each other.
After cleaning the browser history and visiting the same web site with anonymous mode on, both got the same prices being offered.
One of them works for a travel agency.
When you do a search on a travel website (including most airlines official sites) you are actually being served results from a GDS. These companies (Worldspan, Sabre, etc) pull in airline/hotel/etc availability and produce an a search and fulfillment API. They are the reason you can get a flight that connects across multiple different carriers.
I've built a number of successful OTAs (Online Travel Agencies, aka websites) and never once been asked to provide visitor IP addresses or cookies.
In the early days of the internet doing repeated searches would increase prices because these systems were designed for travel agents to do a small number of searches, and a spike in searches was a demand signal. Almost all demand based pricing has been eliminated from air and hotel because of internet "casual shoppers" and price wars.
Do a google search for "clear your cookies before booking flights" and you can read all about it.
Check out Pardot if you want to get an idea of what's possible. They drop a cookie on you the moment you browse the site and it logs every interaction you have with the site. When you finally sign up or fill in a form somewhere it'll associate those sessions with your new account and let you better target drip campaigns and market to them.
There's a lot of other ways to identify someone. It's like in Serenity -- everything has a fingerprint.
I do realise that lead information is sold, and I've had enough offers to sell my own users (which I've declined) to realise just how prevalent the practise is.
LinkedIn sell a fairly complete business dataset. My point is that a lot of people might imagine they could do this, but probably don't really believe that they are doing this.
Then when you add in Intro's almost constant tracking (vs occasionally accessing one of the sites that sells your data - or LinkedIn on the web) it is easy to see just how complete one would be making that dataset.
I'd say that most people don't really understand believe that this happens and how good (if that's the word) that dataset already is.
I'm pretty curious how they advertise the fact that they do something like this as well.
Some time ago on HN I remember reading about a company that embeds forms on websites. So if I filled out a contact form on Site A, the third party collects the information, stores a cookie on my computer. Then when I visit Site B, the cookie uniquely identifies me, and the third party company gives my email address to Site B, even though I didn't fill out a form.
Is this what you're suggesting marketo does?
This is really just a case of well-branded spearphishing. You should already be protecting against that.
Spearphishing is distinguished from phishing more generally by having very narrow, specific target selection.
If we are going to look for a analogies to techniques of catching fish, this is more weir phishing than spearphishing.
Well really, it's somewhere between generic phishing and tightly targeted (spear) phishing.
But the thing you have to remember about "phishing", about "spear phishing", about "social engineering" and about the cons that con-artists have been pulling since before computers existed is you are never just protected from this since every social con is based on exploiting a reflexive, habitual response and the con-artist will always find those no matter how people are simply trained (indeed, the more robot-like you make people's reactions, the more reflexes the con-artist has to work with).
So basically, any serious organization has to keep on top of the new threats coming. Every organization has to warn it's people not to do what they already ought to know better than to do.
Eternal vigilance... Reminds me of something else.
This would take about three clicks from an end-user, and at no point do they knowingly disclose their passwords...
We wanted to provide additional information about how LinkedIn Intro works, so that we can address some of the questions that have been raised. There are some points that we want to reinforce in order to make sure members understand how this product works:
- You have to opt-in and install Intro before you see LinkedIn profiles in any email.
- Usernames, passwords, OAuth tokens, and email contents are not permanently stored anywhere inside LinkedIn data centers. Instead, these are stored on your iPhone.
- Once you install Intro, a new Mail account is created on your iPhone. Only the email in this new Intro Mail account goes via LinkedIn; other Mail accounts are not affected in any way.
- All communication from the Mail app to the LinkedIn Intro servers is fully encrypted. Likewise, all communication from the LinkedIn Intro servers to your email provider (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo! Mail) is fully encrypted.
- Your emails are only accessed when the Mail app is retrieving emails from your email provider. LinkedIn servers automatically look up the "From" email address, so that Intro can then be inserted into the email.
LinkedIn knows exactly how many people will hand over full control of their email if it means that they have a better chance of finding a better job.
Just doesn't seem like the greatest marketing strategy at the moment :-)
"Silicon" Valley is working on spy tools and innovative ways to get more people to click ads.
They probably do. And that guy probably got overruled by another guy who said, "Forget that naysayer and instead think about how much more aggressively we can market ourselves and how much more money we can make..."
IMHO, for what it's worth, this is why I would never use Mailbox.
On the HN thread for the blog post announcement yesterday, tptacek said "I don't care who the company is, or how trustworthy you think they are: avoid giving third parties credentials to your inbox."
I would agree with that above statement - whether it's a company with a good reputation for security or a bad one (or even a nonexistent one), that's way too much power to give to any third party.
Remember that when we talk about security being about trust, it's not only about trusting their intentions, but also their power and ability. Mailbox has access to inboxes of thousands of people, some of whom have incredibly valuable emails in their inbox. Combine that with the number of services that use email as a means for authentication, and you have an incredibly attractive target for an attacker.
For what it's worth, I should mention that I've been working on a self-hosted product that provides the functionality of Mailbox/Boomerang, but without the privacy and security implications of using a third-party: https://github.com/ChimeraCoder/go-yo
So, you're kind of put into an odd position by electing to go against the service in this day and age. Granted, no one is putting a gun to your head and telling you to use LinkedIn. Yet societal pressures (specifically in professional circles) have somewhat made it difficult to go against the grain.
"Most users" blindly type the same password into Facebook that they do for Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, OK Cupid, eBay and PayPal. Any of those services can (and do) get hacked and the password opens all the other services. Should we shut them down too?
I can't say if people's understanding of how junk food is bad for them is greater than their understanding of internet security, but I wouldn't say that they're fundamentally different things.
My point is that "what people understand" is not universal, and is highly subjective. We can't assume that everybody understand why alcohol, smoking, junk food, lack of physical activity, medecine, etc. are potentially "bad" for them. Yet, we don't ban most of these things "in case some people don't understand"?
We teach people about health and nutrition, why shouldn't we do the same about IT (I mean, it's such a huge part of our lives now that we can't ignore it)?
Too many people jump on the "prohibition" train, when it's rarely the best solution. Rather than limit what companies can do (it's rarely objectively bad, they're offering users a feature in exchange for a subjective downside. I would focus on teaching people, not limit what can be done.
But maybe that's just me.
There will be many many people who will use it and won't be aware of all these facts. It is important to discuss these things so that everyone knows and possibly, stays away. If you don't know what it does, you may install it. See - it goes full circle.
Really? I guess you better have your own SMTP server set up then, or hope your email provider is willing to go to bat for your rights...
> 8. If I were the NSA…
Yeah, it sounds like they definitely have needed it so far...
5 other of the things are basically the same point, remade in 5 different ways. This is a really weak list. There are certainly concerns, but most of these problems are symptomatic of our email system as it is. And have we all forgotten how crazy everyone went when we found out google was going to start advertising in Gmail?
Since that time (I assume this was a while ago, i can't imagine it was recent since most of these schools now use hosted email providers), almost every single state has issued opinions stating that storing email with a cloud provider does not break privilege.
AFAIK nobody has cared much since New York's ethics opinion in 2008.
I should also note that there have been a couple of cases since 2008 where courts ruled that use of an employer's e-mail system broke privilege with respect to that employer. See, e.g., Holmes v. Petrovich, 191 Cal. App. 4th 1047 (Jan. 2011). It might be a stretch, but I could see someone trying to argue that Gmail use voided A/C privilege with respect to a lawsuit against Google.
I deleted my account forever ago, but I get emails constantly saying so-and-so wants to connect with me. After the first 3-5, I looked into it. Nope-- no one's trying to contact me through LinkedIn at all. Just LinkedIn doing its thing.
Yes, exactly. In case you signed up using your work email, like practically everybody does, and then one day find yourself not working where you used to work.
1) Why would anyone use a temporary email to sign up to a social service?
2) Why would anyone use their work email for a job networking social site knowing full well that work emails are not private?
Did they? Did they really?
That's pretty much what I thought, i.e "LinkedIn spent considerable effort building something that very few of their users want".
Thanks for confirming that there's no evidence otherwise.
It's more common than you may think, especially for companies where the user is not a paying customer and the feature benefits the company. Sure somebody wants this feature. Somebody who works for linkedin and isn't a security geek.
And for companies with poor-decision-making skills or short-term thinking.
What does the sig it appends look like? I will have to make sure to never send email to anyone who has the tell-tale "I opt into spyware" flag.
In the first instance I thought this was an app that was running in the background on your phone, I would have called that doing the impossible. This is just a MITM, and not a very good one at that.
Could I have done a better job at it? Probably.
Serious questions though, if you are an IT shop - how do you defend against this trojan horse app?
Aside: as Raymond Chen often asks, "What if two companies did this?" Can you layer this service with a hypothetical similar one from Facebook? If not, it seems like a huge first-mover advantage.
"LinkedIn Founder says 'all of these privacy concerns tend to be old people issues.'"
The bit about privacy starts at the 13 minute mark.
It's interesting this "blog post" came from a professional security company who makes it money from scaring individuals and companies about security threats.
Is it just me, or is this firm even worse than LinkedIn?
1. Attorney-client privilege.
I'm guessing most law firms use third party email servers, anti-virus, anti-spam and archive/audit systems which this would also apply to. It would also apply if you're using Raportive, Xobni or the like (or integrated time-tracking, billing, crm, etc.).
2. By default, LinkedIn changes the content of your emails.
Irrelevant. Unless you read your emails in plain text every modern email client changes how email is displayed.
3. Intro breaks secure email.
Yes. Except iOS mail doesn't support crypto signatures anyway.
4. LinkedIn got owned.
Yes. LinkedIn adds an extra point of vulnerability.
5. LinkedIn is storing your email communications.
Well metatdata but yes.
7. It’s probably a gross violation of your company’s security policy.
Yes. As is using Linkedin itself. Or Dropbox. Or Github. Or Evernote. Or Chrome. Or any enterprise software that uses the bottom up approach.
8. If I were the NSA…
The NSA has access to your emails if they want them anyway. Email isn't a secure protocol against a well funded adversary.
9. It’s not what they say, but what they don’t say
10. Too many secrets
These all seem to be questions that can either be answered by testing or ones that LinkedIn would probably be happy to disclose, but unlikely to be major issues to mainstream users.
So fundamentally it comes down to two points, granting Linkedin access to your email creates a new point of attack and Linkedin themselves might use your email in ways you find undesirable.
So it's essentially a trade-off for the benefits you get from the app versus those risks. For a personal account which you use for private emails, personal banking, etc. the evaluation is obviously going to be very much different from say a salesperson's work account which they use for managing communication with leads.
In the later case they may already be trusting LinkedIn with similar confidential information and already use multiple services (analytics, crm, etc.) that hook into their email so the additional relative risk might be smaller.
As people with technical expertise we shouldn't use scare-mongering to push our personal viewpoints upon those with less expertise, but rather help people understand the security/benefit trade-offs that they're making so they can decide for themselves whether to take those risks.
It's important to treat the wider non-technical community with respect and as adults capable of making their own judgements and not as kids who need to be scared into safety.
I think the technical community gets particularly worked up over email security for the same reason that many scientifically literate people get violently angry at the anti-vaccination crowd. Being lax about vaccination requirements can compromise herd immunity, just as allowing other people to hand over their email credentials can potentially compromise my email security if I ever have to communicate with them.
In this case, I think the technical crowd is largely justified in their outrage. Even though any adult should be able to exercise their own judgement, they're not making their decision in a vacuum. Their decision affects others, so those who care have a vested interest in encouraging them to choose wisely. There's a negative externality at play here.
Most businesses which actually require secure messaging will tend to use self-hosted web based email (like most banks do), encrypted messaging (Salesforce Chatter, Reuters Messenger) or secure virtual deal rooms.
Tomorrow's communication system could be leagues more secure than email, but if we don't put LinkedIn in their place now, we're signaling to them that they're welcome to try the same thing tomorrow (perhaps using PGP keys instead of login credentials). Even the most secure cryptosystems are worthless if you can convince a small subset of users to hand you their keys to the castle.
Obviously email today is pretty terrible and should be treated like a postcard, but it's the principle that I'm getting upset about. I don't want LinkedIn conditioning my mom and dad into thinking that it's reasonable to hand over your login credentials, because it most definitely isn't.
2. Executing software on your own device to reformat content is not the same as every employee sending their content out to a random website to have the content reformatted.
5. Please identify yourself and tell us how you know that Linkedin will not store the content of messages in the future.
I had to stop reading at #8. Now I think you are just being sarcastic.
I doubt I could even find a company that prohibited accessing LinkedIn from a work computer anymore. Many don't disallow installing software either.
If you truly believe what you wrote, you almost certainly believe accessing work email from a personal device is prohibited at typical companies. Maybe this is true at large companies, but not anywhere I've worked.
Your argument has no validity. You claim that it's absurd for IT to differentiate between "sending your email to your phone" and "sending your email through a third party with no connection to email deliverability and no business relationship"
Countless companies prohibit salespeople from connecting to potential leads on linkedin to prevent it leaking to competitors.
I'm guessing you've not worked in enterprise because it's pretty normal to have a company policy on "bring-your-own-device" (typically companies will only allow access from devices that meet security requirements on password, anti-virus, etc. often they'll also require the ability to remotely wipe your device)
iOS supports S/MIME.
I can't speak for all law firms, but mine has been resistant to using any such third party services. I know some firms have relaxed their policies and there are plenty of lawyers who use Gmail, but the overall law here isn't settled and can vary from state to state.
The point is, Linkedin is a third-party app. It broke the sandbox mechanism in iOS.
If a client sends an attorney an email from their Iphone, it will go to LinkedIn, instead of the client's own email server.
If an attorney sends a client an email from their Iphone, it will go to LinkedIn, instead of the attorney's own email server.
Interestingly, will then display images if that is in the src attribute but still doesn't render https://google.com.
That's a reddit-level comment.
People with technical, ethical or privacy concerns are just as relevant to the discussion. LinkedIn already has a shady history in terms of unauthorized data slurping, privacy and handling of users. No one has to swallow what they're offering now as altruistic if they don't want to.
Plenty of concerns indeed...
6.5 Million LinkedIn Password Hashes Leaked
LinkedIn sued by users who say it hacked their e-mail accounts
Your iPhone calendar isn’t private—at least if you use the LinkedIn app
LinkedIn: The Creepiest Social Network
LinkedIn opts 100 million users into sharing information with ads
LinkedIn is Evil
LinkedIn was also pulling down your contacts/address book through that iOS flaw just like Path and several other apps were at the time.
After all, we are talking about the same team more or less, and surely the same company who owns Rapportive today.
If my concerns are real. One might find this is ironic that Rapportive was backed by YC and Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, and now this very company violating GMail users' privacy.
If it's modifying the message, it likely breaks DKIM too. meaning your messages will be more likely to be flagged as spam.
More generally, this is the catalyst for me leaving LinkedIn. They've never generated any new business (not even a single lead), and if I'm honest the only reason I use it is more about my ego than anything useful.
How did the C-people even found out such thing is possible? Some intern who just found out how mail works probably was flapping his jaw too much.
> These communications are generally legally privileged and can’t be used as evidence in court – but only if you keep the messages confidential.