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Facebook stored millions of Instagram passwords in plain text

19 April 2019

Just last month we had heard about how Facebook employees had access to around 600 million users' password in plain text. But a company spokesperson said Facebook simply learned that more Instagram passwords than originally suspected were exposed.

"We discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format".

Today, at just about the same time as the most highly anticipated government document of the decade was released in Washington DC, Facebook updated a month-old blog post to note that actually a security incident impacted "millions" of Instagram users and not "tens of thousands" as they said at first.

The tech company woefully underestimated the extent of the issue and decided that Mueller report day would be the flawless opportunity to disclose the full extent of the data privacy fiasco, by merely updating a weeks-old blog post, while the attention of many journalists and concerned users was directed at the newly-published Mueller report.

The news came the same day that it emerged Facebook had been accessing and storing 1.5 million users' email contacts without their knowledge or permission.

On Thursday, the social network said it found millions of Instagram passwords had been stored in plain text, an insecure format that would allow the tech giant's employees to read them if they wanted to. We will be notifying these users as we did the others. "We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users", Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook has again reiterated that there has been no evidence of misuse of this password data. Still, it's a good idea for affected users to change their passwords to stay safe. "We have fixed these issues and as a precaution will be notifying everyone whose passwords we found stored this way", wrote Pedro Canahuati, Vice President, Engineering, Security and Privacy at Facebook. Go to Account Settings Privacy and Security Password to change your password.

Facebook stored millions of Instagram passwords in plain text