Ignore the hullabaloo and focus on the business.
A version of this article originally appeared on our US site, Fool.com.
WASHINGTON, DC -- How quickly investors forget how good LinkedIn's (NYSE: LNKD.US) growth story is. While the stock is only down slightly since news of a security breach broke on Friday, the story certainly looks bad.
A team of Russian hackers broke into a handful of sites and posted online a reported 6.5 million stolen passwords. In virtually all the cases, LinkedIn says, only the passwords were compromised while identifying user information remained safe.
"At the time they were initially published, the vast majority of those passwords remained hashed, i.e. encoded, but unfortunately a subset of the passwords was decoded," wrote LinkedIn director Vicente Silveira in a blog post.
In the days since, LinkedIn has disabled accounts it believes to be at risk. We don't know how many users were affected. All we know is that an indeterminate number were contacted to change their passwords for security purposes. Most, if not all, of that work should now be complete.
The news has only added to recent share price pressure, with LinkedIn now trading about 22% off its 52-week high of $120.63 a share for a market value of $9.67 billion. Not bad for a company disrupting an industry that brings in billions in revenue annually.
Let's also remember the nature of LinkedIn's business. This isn't a transactional network in the same way that Amazon.com, eBay and even Facebook (NASDAQ: FB.US) is. As such, it's not clear a more penetrating breach would have dramatically increased the risk of identity theft.
Finally, consider history. With this breach, LinkedIn joins an esteemed group to have been hacked:
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