It is being said that the social networking behemoth is anticipated to notify tens of thousands of Instagram users, hundreds of Facebook Lite users, and tens of millions of other Facebook users whose passwords might have been compromised. Folks are encouraged to choose strong, complex, and preferably unique phrases, and enable two-factor authentication when possible.
The passwords that were exposed could date back to 2012, he said.
As these passwords in plain text could be accessed by any employee of the company itself, who could have obtained them without a trace and could have ended up in the hands of cybercriminals. Motherboard granted multiple sources in this story anonymity to speak more candidly about a security incident. And none of that is including the wide-scale improper data sharing issues that kicked off with Cambridge Analytica and started putting real pressure on the company to change its practices. Nevertheless, it's imperative. A plain text password is one that can be found, read and used to take over an account. Up to 20,000 employees could have accessed these passwords at any time, but the company claims there is now no indication that its employees accessed those passwords improperly.
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A Facebook employee could have shared your password with someone else who would then have improper access to your account, for instance. In short, Facebook employees could have potentially looked up the passwords for individual users, though there's no indication that this actually happened. "'The longer we go into this analysis the more comfortable the legal people [at Facebook] are going with the lower bounds" of affected users, the source said. As they have stored the passwords of hundreds of millions of users in plain text without applying any type of encryption, so your password is accessible.
"There is nothing more important to us than protecting people's information, and we will continue making improvements as part of our ongoing security efforts at Facebook", said Canahuati. This irreversibly replaces the password with a set of random characters.
It's probably a good time to change your Facebook/Instagram password, just to be on the safe side. Storing passwords in plain text is "unfortunately more common than most of the industry talks about", Jake Williams, president of Rendition Infosec, told reporters. It simply says that "you can change your password" not if you should.