Using an automated web bot, it is possible to scrape personnel names and then translate those names into emails that can be used in phishing campaigns. Proof of concept uploaded to Github.
Creating the LinkedIn Web Bot
While testing, it was identified that LinkedIn will temporarily disable accounts suspected of employing bot automation (and presumably with enough violations, could result in permanent deletion of account).
The team found that by rate-limiting requests at varied intervals and limiting total daily requests to less that 800, we were able to use automated bots on the network without having the accounts suspended.
The proof of concept bot does the following:
- Logs into LinkedIn using an existing account
- Searches the supplied company name
- Narrows the search to return "People" objects
- Opens Advanced Search options, and selects only individuals that currently work at the company
- Progressively clicks through 100 pages of profiles and gathers names
- Converts the names into emails based on a known-naming convention