Facebook admits storing 'hundreds of millions' of passwords in plain text

Facebook on Thursday said that it had left “hundreds of millions” of users’ passwords exposed in plain text potentially visible to the company’s employees

Facebook says it'll notify users affected by this, but it won't require them to change their password as a result of the findings.

The company said the passwords weren't visible to anyone outside of the company, adding that "we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them".

Since the revelation that a British political consulting firm tapped by the Trump administration in the run-up to the 2016 election had access to the personal information for as many as 87 million Facebook users, the company has been trying to manage a deluge of negative headlines surrounding its data collection practices.

Facebook has since published a blog post, in which it confirms that "we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems".

"The longer we go into this analysis the more comfortable the legal people [at Facebook] are going with the lower bounds" of affected users, the source told him.

If Facebook can't even take password security seriously, how can it ever hope to convince users it can understand the mere meaning of the word "privacy".

Indian tycoon Ambani pays debt after court threatened jail
The SC had ordered Anil Ambani and 2 directors to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson India within 4 weeks or face three months in jail. The two directors are Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani.

The company says that all the passwords are now masked and unreadable and that all the users who had their passwords stored in plain text will be notified.

In a blog post ironically titled, "Keeping Passwords Secure", Facebook said it had caught the issue affecting "some user passwords" in January and it was now fixed. Facebook Lite launched in 2015 and Facebook bought Instagram in 2012.

The fact that the company couldn't manage to do something as simple as encrypting passwords, however, raises questions about its ability to manage more complex encryption issues - such in messaging - flawlessly.

Facebook's admission of the faux pas came after the report by Krebs.

Both Github and Twitter were forced to admit similar stumbles in recent months, but in both of those cases the plain text user passwords were available to a relatively small number of people within those organizations, and for far shorter periods of time.

Commenting on Mr Krebs's story Facebook engineer, Scott Renfro said an internal investigation started after Facebook had uncovered the logs had not revealed any "signs of misuse".

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