Facebook put 600 million accounts at risk as passwords were left in a readable format

Facebook scratched off

Facebook is one of the most popular platforms on the internet. It is like a beginners guide for new social media users. The platform is the first experience of social media users for most of the people out there. It is a stepping stone kind of a thing as people after Facebook move on to more complex social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. The base of everything remains the same and Facebook is the first step towards the world of social media for almost all the users today.

That being said, Facebook has around 2.3 billion users across the world. These many users make Facebook one of the biggest companies in the world. However, the users of Facebook might not decrease but the popularity surely is. The users are mostly shifting to Instagram and other forms of social media. That is the reason Facebook doesn’t want any competition and buys the company that is challenging its existence.

In between buying its competitors and creating a monopoly, the company had to face a lot of heat due to privacy issue. The company is tried to force a hand in the elections of 2016 as they provided data to Cambridge Analytica, a company which was handling the campaign of Donald Trump. That said, the company was called upon by the lawmakers and there was a huge controversy over the users’ privacy.

There have been multiple problems that have been handled by the American giant but there was another problem that rose the other day. The security team at Facebook found that there were passwords of about 200 million to 600 million users stored in the readable format in the database. These passwords were easily accessible to almost twenty thousand employees.

These passwords are supposed to be stored in a scrambled format which makes it absolutely unreadable and one cannot trace back the original text. Keeping these passwords in a readable format, the company put almost 600 million accounts at risk which is absolutely not acceptable. A single breach could have turned this into a mega-scandal and Facebook would have another scandal in their list.

However, Facebook has denied a breach and has sealed any possible routes for the same. That said, the company has been working on notifying all the users that were affected indirectly by the same. The routine check was the reason these passwords were found out and the news was leaked to the media after this.

Security engineers at Facebook told KrebsonSecurity that the company about the same. One of the engineers 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 is crucial and could have been a bigger threat to the users of Facebook if the passwords were made public by a hacker. This is where the company needs to tighten up the screws as privacy is a recurring theme amongst the scandals or problems of the company.

-Unmesh Phule

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