Change Your Facebook Password Now

Change Your Facebook Password Now

Everyone should be changing their Facebook passwords after it was discovered all use passwords have been left unencrypted and searchable in plaintext.

We are living in the age where data breach, privacy disaster and incidents are common. Every month, we get news about privacy breach and security incidents that are initiated by cyberattackers. These attacks can also come from company’s side in the form of privacy breach. When a company asks for your personal information in an event of filling the data fields, you expect the company to keep your personal information private by storing it a secure place.

But unfortunately, this is not the case with every company. Yesterday, Facebook has messed up again with another privacy disaster. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to sharing your phone number, the most popular social network has a long history of privacy flaws.

According to the recently blog published by Krebs on Security, Facebook stored passwords for hundreds of millions of users in a plain and readable text, exposing them for years (dating back to 2012) to their employees. The worst thing is, your password has been searchable by more than 20,000 employees who work in the company. The estimated users affected by this password breach, are between 200 million and 600 million.

Right after Kerb’s news, Facebook Vice President (Engineering, Security and Privacy) Pedro Canahuati posted in a blog, stating that “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 caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable. We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way.”

Pedro claim, “To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them”.

On the other end, Kerb’s insider who was a part of this investigation, “access logs showed some 2,000 engineers or developers made approximately nine million internal queries for data elements that contained plain text user passwords.” The detailed investigation proved that most affected users are from Facebook Lite, which tends to be used in nations where net connections are sparse and slow.

If big companies like Facebook are not following the basics, how can we rely on others? It’s a big security no-no that hurts the expectation of millions of internet users.

What to do now?

No one can guarantee complete protection but still there are few ways that can help you in tighten your privacy and security, some of these includes the following:

  • Change your password as soon as possible. 
  • Keep it your habit to change your password twice in three months. 
  • Keep your password hard to hack by using complex numbers. Password managers can help you in this. 
  • Add Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to your account. 
  • You can also sign up to receive alerts about unrecognized logins. Facebook has the tool for this. 
  • You can use the physical security key that requires your finger to scan and approve the login attempt. 
  • You can use YubicoKey for instant and secure access to your Facebook account.

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  • Security Today Magazine - July August 2019

    July/August 2019

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