FACEBOOK HAS MORE PROBLEMS “Tens of millions of Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users were also affected” – By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading

 

Password Problem for Facebook 

Facebook Inc. for years stored hundreds of millions of user passwords in a format that was accessible to its employees, in yet another privacy snafu for the social-media giant. The incident disclosed by the company Thursday involved a wide swath of its users, though Facebook said no passwords were exposed externally, and it hasn’t found evidence of the information being abused.

Facebook said it plans to send notifications to anyone whose passwords were stored in this manner, but it won’t require they be reset. Conahuati said that includes “hundreds of millions” of users of Facebook Lite, a bare bones app that uses less data, and is popular in places with low connectivity were affected. Tens of millions of Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users were also affected, he said.

Because so many people reuse their passwords, they have emerged as a major security problem for tech companies. Password databases have become a prime target for cyber thieves, and hackers will often try a user’s stolen password to break into new sites. Most companies, including Facebook, monitor the internet for publicly released databases of passwords.

“Passwords are extremely sensitive data,” said Deirdre K. Mulligan, an associate professor at University of California Berkeley, who specializes on data privacy. “If passwords are being stored in the clear, accessible by thousands of employees, one can only imagine how poorly other data is being managed,” she said. 

Facebook’s data-security lapse attracted more attention than similar stumbles elsewhere given persistent criticism of how the company collects, stores and deploys its users’ data. It also contradicts at least some of the company’s previous assurances on the matter. In a 2014 post about password security, Facebook’s then-security engineer Chris Long wrote that “no one here has your plain text password.

”Facebook has been under fire for much of the past year over data-security issues and concerns over how it monitors the platform. Even against that backdrop, the past week has been a difficult one for the Menlo Park, Calif., company. Last week the company’s chief product officer and the head of its WhatsApp division resigned unexpectedly, a move seen as reflective of intense debate within the company over its direction.

Todd “Bubba” Horwitz

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Financial Markets and Political Commentary
 

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About the author

Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.