Last month, two of the most inspired social media platforms Facebook and Instagram have suffered severe privacy loses by a major bug that exposed user’ passwords as plain text. Facebook confirmed the reports of the incident on March 21, making it one of the worst security breaches in history as it affected millions more than it was previously expected.
The passwords were being stored in a “readable manner” accessible to the internal Facebook employees
It is fascinating that Facebook understated and confirmed the incident in the same post, posted at the end of the March after security researcher Brain Krebs filed his own report on the incident. Pedro Canahuati, the vice president for engineering and security of Facebook, at first wrote that “some” user password were accessible to Facebook employees. After writing a paragraph, he took a U-turn saying that “Hundreds of Millions of Facebook Lite users”, “millions of Facebook users”, and “tens of thousands of Instagram users” were affected from this. At the onset of this bug attack, the users affected by this incident were estimated as close to tens of thousands in total, but later Facebook confirms that the actual numbers are overwhelming. However, they haven’t reached the full count of users affected by the breach but if we take into account the magnitude of the impact, even 1 million is still a great number.
We will be notifying users impacted by the incident as we notified others, so they can change their passwords, Facebook penned in the blog. Facebook ensures the users affected by this that the passwords were exposed only to in-house staff. To be clear “these passwords were not exposed to anyone outside the company” and they are readable only to the Facebook employees. The company also ensured the users that the investigation has determined that the stored passwords “were not internally abused or improperly accessed”.
We don’t have an exact number of people affected by this incident that we can share, said by the Facebook spokesperson Liz Bourgeois. Reportedly, she refused to unveil the timing of their latest findings on this incident.
Facebook also found problems with how it saves user’s data including access token and resolved them. The privacy and security of Facebook users are of paramount importance to us and we will keep making continuous efforts to ensure the deliverance of best possible security at Facebook, Said by Canahuati.
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Christopher Ola is a professional technical writer who completed Masters of engineering management from Princeton University, US and has been writing for the past 11 years. He transforms technical information using a comprehensive and easy approach for all the readers and tech lovers to understand the complexity of the respective subject. Covering the area of antivirus, Microsoft office.com/setup, and printers related error and more, Christopher Ola’s articles help users to clarify their doubts.