Sell Hack, the email-revealing LinkedIn plug-in, shuts down... for now

By Danny Palmer
02 Apr 2014 View Comments
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Sell Hack, the LinkedIn plug-in that allowed users to expose email addresses of other users - even if they weren't connected on the professional social media network - has shut down.

At least that's the case for the time being, according to a blog post by the Sell Hack team published after receiving a cease and desist notification from LinkedIn.

Further reading

Sell Hack, a browser extension for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari, enabled LinkedIn users to attempt to access the email addresses of any other user of the network. The plug-in added a "Hack In" tool to LinkedIn profiles, which when pressed, would occasionally reveal the email address of the user - information that would usually only be available if two users had agreed to be connected on the site.

Despite its name, Sell Hack doesn't in fact hack into LinkedIn in order to expose user information, but rather uses data available on the wider web in an effort to determine the LinkedIn user's email address.

Indeed, LinkedIn confirmed to security expert Graham Cluley that the tool didn't hack any of its databases to display the information as the user credentials hadn't been exposed through any sort of breach.

"No LinkedIn data has been compromised and Sell Hack is not the result of a security breach, bug or vulnerability," said LinkedIn spokesperson Krista Canfield.

Nonetheless, the software still irked LinkedIn to such an extent that it requested the Sell Hack plug-in be pulled. However, it doesn't look as if this represents the end of Sell Hack, with the developers proudly stating "we had more signups today than in our first 60 days combined!"

Indeed, the "dads from the midwest who like to build web and mobile products that people use" have already indicated they're already in the process of building a "better product" that doesn't conflict with LinkedIn's terms of service.

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