Facebook making headlines for data breach scandals have become almost a common phenomenon, what with latest reports claiming millions of user’s passwords getting leaked.
However, the twist this time is that the passwords that got leaked have been visible to only the company’s internal employees and none from the outside world. Further, the company also claimed to have fixed the glitch too.
That said, it’s no less than 20,000 of Facebook employees that have had access to the passwords. And that for the simple reason the password got stored in plain text and not in the encrypted format as is desirable. If that is not all, the mess started way back in 2012 itself. That by any means points to a massive security lapse given that the loophole had been there undetected for this long.
Also, the scope of the lapse is massive too given that it’s about 200 to 600 million of Facebook users who have had their passwords revealed. Facebook said most among them were users of the company’s Facebook Lite app. That again happens to be a low-end version of its flagship Facebook app but weighs less on the memory as well as internet bandwidth. As such, the app is used mainly in the developing markets where internet connectivity might yet not be robust enough.
Facebook meanwhile also said they are working to ascertain the cause as to why the passwords got stored in the plain text form. The flaw came to light in January this year during a routine internal security audit process. The social media company said they are in the process of informing users of Facebook, Facebook Lite as well as Instagram users who might have been affected.
The company also assured there had been no known cases of the passwords having been misused, which means there is little for users to be worried about from the lapse. That notwithstanding, it’s highly recommended for current users to change their passwords as an additional security measure.