Facebook user? You should change your password now! Here is why
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the world, despite the numerous times it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the recent years.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the world, despite the numerous times it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the recent years. Now, to that list of negatives has been added another one - your password may well have been compromised! Why? Unbelievable as it sounds, Facebook stored it in plain text and "readable" format and that too, for years!
According to a KrebsonSecurity report, which quotes a senior Facebook employee, passwords of as many as 600 million users were stored on the company’s servers in plain text. The report claims that these passwords were searchable by over 20,000 Facebook employees. Further inquiry has revealed archives of user passwords in plain text dating back to 2012. The investigation is still underway and Facebook has denied in a blog post that the passwords were visible to anyone outside of the company or abused or improperly accessed by its employees.
The issue first came to light in January this year when company’s security engineers, Facebook software engineer Scott Renfro told KrebsonSecurity. “As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems,” Facebook said in the post.
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The social media giant has said that the issue has been fixed and it will soon notify those whose passwords were stored in plain text. Facebook said that it estimates to notify “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users.”
However, it did not give the exact number of passwords that were exposed. But, the report claims that they were between 200 million to 600 million.
After this development, Facebook and Instagram users are advised to change their passwords even as the company continues to deny that there was an abuse. The users should also put two-factor authentication as it adds an extra layer of security. The feature requires users to enter a code every time they log in to their account.