Facebook Exposed Millions of Instagram Passwords

Record scratch freeze frame You're probably wondering how I got here

Record scratch freeze frame You're probably wondering how I got here

Facebook said in a blog post it would notify users whose passwords were internally visible, but claimed the stored passwords were not abused or improperly accessed.

The news, which was overshadowed but not obscured by the release of the Mueller report, followed an article saying that Facebook, Instagram's parent company, had "unintentionally" harvested the email contacts of about 1.5 million of its users over the past three years.

At the time it said tens of thousands of Instagram users were affected but yesterday upgraded this to millions of users.

Under the best security practices, companies should be storing passwords not in plain text, but through a method called hashing, which can effectively scramble the sensitive data into an unreadable format.

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Facebook said in a blog post on Thursday that it now estimates that "millions" of Instagram users were affected by the lapse, instead of the "tens of thousands" it had originally reported. "There is no evidence of abuse or misuse of these passwords" a Facebook spokesperson told Newsweek. "We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way", Facebook said.

This is Facebook's second password issue in less than a month.

Any users concerned about their password possibly being exposed should change it and make sure their new password is secure and complex.

So far, Facebook hasn't revealed how long it had been storing the Instagram passwords in plain text, what caused it, or how many employees may have had access to the information. It turns out that the security blunder was much more significant that initially announced, since the issue also encompassed millions of Instagram passwords. From there they should choose the gear wheel icon for settings, then privacy and security and then password.

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