Responding to a recent surge in AI-generated bot accounts, LinkedIn is rolling out new features that it hopes will help users make more informed decisions about who they choose to connect with. Many LinkedIn profiles now display a creation date, and the company is expanding its domain validation offering, which allows users to publicly confirm that they can respond to emails on their current employer’s reported domain.
LinkedIn’s new “About This Profile” section – which is visible by clicking the “More” button at the top of a profile – includes the year the account was created, the last time the profile information was updates and an indication of how and if an account has been verified.
LinkedIn also said it adds a warning to certain LinkedIn posts that include high-risk content or attempt to trick the user into taking the conversation to another platform (like WeChat).
“We may alert you to messages that ask you to transfer the conversation to another platform as this may be a sign of a scam,” the company said in a blog post. “These warnings will also give you the choice to report content without notifying the sender.”
At the end of September 2022, KrebsOnSecurity warned against the proliferation of fake LinkedIn profiles for Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in some of the largest companies in the world. A follow-up story october 5 showed how the problem of fake profiles has affected virtually every leadership position in companies, and how these fake profiles are creating an identity crisis for the business networking site and the companies that depend on it to hire and select employees potentials.
Reporting here last month also followed a massive drop in profiles claiming to work at several major tech companieswhile LinkedIn has apparently taken action against hundreds of thousands of inauthentic accounts that falsely claim roles at these companies.
For example, on October 10, 2022, there were 576,562 LinkedIn accounts indicating that their current employer was Apple Inc. The next day, half of these profiles no longer existed. Around the same time, the number of LinkedIn profiles claiming current positions at Amazon fell from about 1.25 million to 838,601 in a single day, a drop of 33%.
For some reason, the majority of fake LinkedIn profiles reviewed by this author were of young women with profile pictures that appear to have been generated by artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
“We are seeing rapid progress in AI-based synthetic image generation technology and have created a deep learning model to better capture profiles created with this technology,” LinkedIn said. Oscar Rodriguez wrote. “AI-powered image generators can create unlimited unique, high-quality profile photos that don’t match real people.”
It’s still unclear who or what is behind the recent proliferation of fake executive profiles on LinkedIn, but they likely stem from a combination of scams. Cybersecurity firm Beggar (recently acquired by Google) told Bloomberg that hackers working for the North Korean government copied resumes and profiles from major job posting platforms LinkedIn and In effectas part of an elaborate program to land jobs at cryptocurrency companies.
Identity thieves are known impersonate recruiters on LinkedIncollecting personal and financial information from people who are victims of employment scams.
In addition, fake profiles can also be linked to so-called “pig butcher” scamswhere people are lured by online flirtatious strangers to invest in cryptocurrency trading platforms which end up grabbing all the funds when the victims try to withdraw money.