Mountain View, Calif. – Online business network LinkedIn said on Wednesday it is investigating confirmed reports that hackers have stolen nearly 6.5 million member passwords.

“We can confirm that some of the passwords that were compromised correspond to LinkedIn accounts,” wrote LinkedIn director Vicente Silveira, adding that the investigation continues.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn is cancelling all of the passwords that it knows to have been compromised. The company will send emails to those account holders with instructions for resetting the password, although it promises that none of those emails will contain links in light of what a bad idea it is to click on a link in an email.

Earlier in the day, LinkedIn tweeted that it was investigating but that it hadn’t confirmed anything.

That  followed reports previous reports that a user in a Russian forum claimed to have hacked and uploaded the passwords onto the web. The news sent shares of LinkedIn down about .5 percent by early afternoon.

This article was also published in Potomac Tech Wire. Chris Marlowe contributed to this version.

Related links:

LinkedIn blog – An Update on LinkedIn Member Passwords Compromised

LinkedIn – tweet

Sophos’ Naked Security blog – Millions of LinkedIn passwords reportedly leaked – take action NOW

PCWorld – Hackers Post 6.5 Million LinkedIn Passwords Online

CNN – More than 6 million LinkedIn passwords likely stolen

Photo by Flickr user nan palmero, used under Creative Commons license