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Worrying Facebook password data protection flaw revealed

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The social media giant hasn’t had it easy lately, with a number of data breach incidents plaguing their public image. The recent revelations about the Facebook password data protection flaws is another headache to add to the pile.

It’s understood that some Facebook passwords have not been securely stored and have been accessible to thousands of Facebook employees. You would expect that one of the biggest social media platforms in the world would have the best protection for passwords, but this story suggests otherwise.

Users affected by the issue are set to be contacted by Facebook. This incident is one in a long line of recent data scandals Facebook has been embroiled in.

About the Facebook password data protection issue

The Facebook password data protection issue surrounds some 600 million passwords for users being stored in plain text format. How securely this file has (or files have) been stored is unknown, but it’s understood that the passwords were accessible by around 20,000 Facebook employees.

In a statement, the social media giant said:

“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. This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable.”

They also said that they will notify “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram Users.”

Why is the Facebook password data protection worrying?

The news of the Facebook password data protection issue is incredibly worrying. The plain text storage of the password means the file(s) in question could be a goldmine if they were ever hacked or accessed by someone working for the company with malicious intentions. Passwords should be stored in an encrypted format and should be hashed to make them largely unreadable in the event of a data breach.

Many people reuse access credentials, and many also use the “log in with Facebook” feature. A breached Facebook password could allow a criminal to do a serious amount of damage. And with stories often in the media about employees in companies abusing their access rights and exposing and stealing information, the users affected by this issue have been at a serious security risk.

What should people do?

Facebook is said to be notifying those affected. We suggest that, at the very least, people would be wise to change their password immediately.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

This news follows a spate of Facebook data breach incidents of late. People have every right to be worried about this issue, and it’s simple security flaws like this that often result in people falling victim to incidents.

We often represent people claiming for data breach compensation that stem from such simple security flaws like this one.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on March 29, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Cybersecurity Data Latest Smartphones Social Networking Technology and tagged with | | | | | |

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