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Social Networking Giant Facebook Stored Users’ Passwords in ‘Readable’ Form

Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook, predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook on Thursday said it has fixed a security issue wherein millions of its users’ passwords were stored in plain text and “readable” format for years and according to reports, were searchable by thousands of its employees.

The report by KrebsOnSecurity claimed on Thursday around 200-600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by over 20,000 Facebook employees.

In a blog post later, Facebook said as part of a routine security review in January, it 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, VP Engineering, Security and Privacy at Facebook.

The company, however, said these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook.

Facebook, data, photos, vietnam
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

“We have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them. We estimate that we will notify this to hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users.

Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook, predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are telling people so that they can change passwords if they choose,” Facebook tweeted.

Also Read- EU Fines Google $1.7 bn for Unfair Online Ad Rules

Earlier this month, Facebook came under scrutiny for using phone numbers provided for security reasons — like two-factor authentication (2FA) — for things like advertising and making users searchable by their phone numbers across its different platforms.

“Consider enabling a security key or two-factor authentication to protect your Facebook account using codes from a third party authentication app. When you log in with your password, we will ask for a security code or to tap your security key to verify that it is you,” Facebook advised. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Still Hosting NZ Shooting Footage: Report

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Despite Facebook’s claim that the livestreaming video of the March 15 Christchurch shooting that killed 50 people was removed from its platforms, sections of the raw footage are still available for users to watch, the media reported.

According to a report in Motherboard on Friday, certain videos on Facebook and Instagram show sections of the raw attack footage.

“The world’s biggest and most well-resourced social media network is still hosting copies of the violent attack video on its own platform as well as Instagram,” the report claimed.

Some of the videos are slices of the original 17-minute clip — trimmed down to one minute or so — and are open to be viewed by anyone.

In one instance, instead of removing the video, which shows the terrorist shooting and murdering innocent civilians from a first-person perspective, Facebook has simply marked the clip as potentially containing “violent or graphic content”.

One of the clips shows the terrorist walking up to the first mosque he targeted, and opening fire. The video does not show the full attack, and stops at the 01:15 mark.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

A Facebook spokesperson, however, said “the video did violate our policies and has been removed”.

The Facebook livestreaming of the New Zealand terror attack sparked global outrage. The video was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed.

The video was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Also Read- Jack Dorsey Admits Twitter Makes it Easy to Abuse Others

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature.

Earlier this month, New Zealand’s privacy commissioner John Edwards labelled Facebook as “morally bankrupt pathological liars” after the social media platform’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to play down the Facebook livestreaming of Christchurch shooting. (IANS)