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Home / Business / Passwords from millions of Facebook users were stored insecure: NPR

Passwords from millions of Facebook users were stored insecure: NPR



The Facebook logo was photographed in 2018 at the company's headquarters in California. On Tuesday, Facebook said it found millions of user passwords stored in plain, readable text in their internal data storage systems.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP


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Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

The Facebook logo was photographed in 2018 at the company's headquarters in California. On Tuesday, Facebook said it found millions of user passwords stored in plain, readable text in their internal data storage systems.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Unknown to hundreds of millions of Facebook users, their passwords were in plain text in the company's data storage, making them vulnerable to potential employee abuse and cyber attack for many years.

"To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook, and we have found no evidence that anyone internally abused or unfairly has access to them," said vice president of technology, security and privacy in Facebook. Pedro Canahuati, in a statement Thursday

The staff found the discovery in January, during a routine security checkup, he said.

The company plans to alert hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users in low-connectivity areas and tens of millions by other Facebook users and tens of thousands of Instagram users 19659008] The announcement came in the midst of a report from the cybersecurity blog Krebs on Security, which cited an anonymous Facebook source, as many as 600 million users may have been affected, according to the source. ] Targeted online privacy, Congress sets a new tone with Big Tech “/>

"My Facebook inside said access logs showed that around 2,000 engineers or developers created about nine million internal requests for data items containing plain text user passwords, "blogger Brian Krebs explains.

The archives go back to 2012, according to the report.

Thursday's disclosure is the latest in a number of controversies. In 2018, the world learned that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica received information about millions of Facebook users. Later that year, Facebook announced a massive security breach of nearly 50 million accounts.

"This is a crisis-crisis company," said Jeff Chester, CEO of the Digital Democracy Center, to the NPR.

He says it's part of a pattern. "Although Facebook is not alone, the problem is that the focus has been on converting all this data into revenue to help advertisers, and that's not enough to help data security."

There have been charges of discriminating ad targeting, findings that the company collects data from third-party apps on people's personal details, such as menstrual cycles, images accidentally made available to app developers, reports that the user's phone numbers – submitted for security – were targeted by advertisers "within a few weeks", and a scolding New York Times article on Facebook's attempt to discredit critics with a Washington consulting company.

Last year, British lawmakers liked Facebook to "digital gangsters" who divorced accountability as disinformation that spread like fire extinguishing on social media. 19659008] Federal prosecutors are currently conducting a criminal investigation into the events Facebook made with Amazon, Apple and other tech giants, Acco rding to the New York Times. The partnership may have allowed the companies to access data on user data without consent, at times without consent.

Chester says the password retention newsletter can fuel a flame burning in Washington among lawmakers pushing for regulations on big tech companies. "This allows the Congress to take over the privacy laws and also claims the cyber security law," Chester said.

Facebook insists that privacy is a top priority.

"It is nothing more important to us," said Canahuati. and we will continue to make improvements as part of our ongoing security efforts on Facebook. "

Note: Facebook is among NPR's financial supporters.


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