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CBI Writes to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook And GSR Regarding Data Breach Cases

The CBI got the reference from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in July, to investigate the role of Cambride Analytica

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Case Against NDTV Founders
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Wikimedia

The CBI has written to UK-based Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research (GSR) and US-based Facebook, seeking information in connection with its probe into allegedly illegally obtaining social networking site data of Indians, sources said on Monday.

According to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sources, the agency has written to the Cambridge Analytica’s New York City office, GSR office in UK and Facebook’s US office.

The agency’s moves comes in the wake of a “Preliminary Enquiry (PE)” it registered against the firms after receiving a reference from the Centre to start a probe into the matter on August 8.

The CBI got the reference from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in July, to investigate the role of Cambride Analytica.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on July 26 had also told Parliament that the government has ordered the CBI to probe and find out if the British company had violated Indian laws.

Cambridge Analytica — a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer — declared bankruptcy this year following allegations that it used personal information harvested from 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election.

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The firm is accused of mining personal information without authorisation in early 2014, to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. (IANS)

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Facebook Reveals Millions of Instagram Passwords Stored on Servers

Facebook had found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems.

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The company on Thursday revealed that millions of passwords belonging to the users of its photo-sharing service Instagram were also exposed. Pixabay

A day after admitting it “unintentionally” uploaded emails of nearly 1.5 million of new users, Facebook has now revealed that millions of Instagram passwords were stored on its servers in a readable format.

Last month, Facebook said that it fixed a security issue wherein millions of its users’ passwords were stored in plain text and “readable” format for years and were searchable by thousands of its employees.

The company on Thursday revealed that millions of passwords belonging to the users of its photo-sharing service Instagram were also exposed.

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The revelation came to light after a security researcher noticed that “Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities”. VOA

“We discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users,” said the social networking giant in an update.

“We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed.”

Facebook had found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems.

“This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable. We have fixed these issues and as a precaution will be notifying everyone whose passwords we found stored this way,” wrote Pedro Canahuati, Vice President, Engineering, Security and Privacy at Facebook.

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“We discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users,” said the social networking giant in an update. Pixabay

A Facebook spokesperson admitted late Wednesday that emails of 1.5 million people were harvested since May 2016 to help build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends.

The revelation came to light after a security researcher noticed that “Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities”.

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The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and were being deleted.

In March, a report by Krebs On Security claimed that around 200-600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by over 20,000 Facebook employees. (IANS)