Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition hit by subsidiary’s data breach

Some 55,000 Lynda.com accounts are affected

There’s been another data breach, this one hitting Lynda.com, the online training website acquired by LinkedIn last year, which of course affects Microsoft now – given that the latter officially sealed the deal to buy the business-oriented social network earlier this month.

Affected Lynda.com users were emailed at the weekend, and some 55,000 accounts were involved in the hack.

As Neowin reports, according to an official statement from LinkedIn, those accounts have had their passwords reset, but apparently only as a precautionary measure.

A spokesperson for LinkedIn said: “We recently became aware that an unauthorised third party accessed a database that included Lynda.com user data. As a precautionary measure, we reset passwords for the less than 55,000 Lynda.com users affected and are notifying them of the issue.”

Live and learn

While only a relatively small number were hit in terms of user data and potentially had their (encrypted) password exposed, a lot more folks had ‘learner data’ (info on the courses they had looked at, for example) possibly at risk.

The spokesperson added: “We’re also working to notify approximately 9.5 million Lynda.com users who had learner data, but no password information, in the database. We have no evidence that any of this data has been made publicly available and we have taken additional steps to secure Lynda.com accounts.”

LinkedIn announced its acquisition of Lynda.com back in April 2015, saying that the latter’s “extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers”, and coughing up $1.5 billion for the privilege.

Microsoft, as we said previously, just closed its mega-deal to purchase LinkedIn, and ultimately is working to make all of the social network’s learning resources available across Office 365 and indeed the whole Windows ecosystem.

While Lynda.com is clearly trying to play down the significance of the breach, this is obviously going to be something of an embarrassment for Microsoft, and a case of rather unfortunate timing with it happening the same month as the company took over LinkedIn.

If you were affected by the breach, you’ll have been contacted by Lynda.com regarding an enforced password reset as mentioned.