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Facebook found millions of passwords stored in plain-text in internal investigation

CNET logo CNET 21/3/2019 Alfred Ng
a close up of a logo: Hundreds of millions of passwords were stored in plain text on Facebook. © CNET

Hundreds of millions of passwords were stored in plain text on Facebook.

Hundreds of millions of passwords were an open book at Facebook's internal servers.

An internal investigation at Facebook in January found that hundreds of millions of passwords were stored in plain-text, allowing the social network's employees to easily find and these login credentials. 

In a blog post on Thursday, Pedro Canahuati, Facebook's vice president of engineering, security and privacy, said that they found "no evidence to date" that any staffers improperly accessed those passwords. 

The internal investigation was first reported by Krebs on Security.

Facebook said that it will be notifying hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users. 

"This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable," Canahuati said in the blog post. "We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way."

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