Facebook employees had access to millions of user passwords

The passwords of up to 600 million users dating back to 2012 were stored as plain text on Facebook servers.

Facebook stored up to 600 million user account passwords without encryption and viewable as plain text to tens of thousands of company employees, according to a report Thursday by cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs.

Facebook confirmed the report in a blog post. Facebook shares were down less than 1 percent Thursday. The Irish Data Protection Commission, which administers the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, also said Thursday that Facebook had reached out over the issue: “We are currently seeking further information,” the commission said in a statement.

Source: Facebook employees had access to millions of user passwords

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Facebook, Instagram Suffer Outages | Newsradio 1020 KDKA

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says it is aware of outages on its platforms including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram and is working to resolve the issue.

According to Facebook’s status page , the outages started around 11 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. That page, which calls the problem a “partial outage,” states that Facebook has experienced “increased error rates” since that time.

Downdetector.com, a site that monitors site outages, said the Facebook problem affected parts of the U.S., including the East and West Coast; parts of Europe and elsewhere. Both Facebook’s desktop site and app appeared to be affected. Some users saw a message that said Facebook was down for “required maintenance.”

Facebook did not say what was causing the outages.

Via its Twitter account, Facebook said the outage was not due to a “distributed denial of service” or DDoS attack, a type of attack that hackers use to interrupt service to a site.

Source: Facebook, Instagram Suffer Outages | Newsradio 1020 KDKA

RelatedHow Facebook Stands To Profit From Its ‘Privacy’ Push

Elizabeth Warren wants to break up tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has proposed breaking up the big tech giants, including Amazon, Facebook and Google, a move she says will help the “next generation of great American tech companies … flourish.”

“I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules,” Warren wrote in a blog post.

Source: Elizabeth Warren wants to break up tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google

Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8M users’ unposted photos to apps | TechCrunch

Reset the “days since the last Facebook privacy scandal” counter, as Facebook has just revealed a Photo API bug gave app developers too much access to the photos of up to 5.6 million users. The bug allowed apps users had approved to pull their timeline photos to also receive their Facebook Stories, Marketplace photos, and most worryingly, photos they’d uploaded to Facebook but never shared. Facebook says the bug ran for 12 days from September 13th to September 25th. Facebook tells TechCrunch it discovered the breach on September 25th, and informed the European Union’s Irish Data Protection Commission on November 22nd. The IDPC has begun a statuatory inquiry into the breach.

Source: Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8M users’ unposted photos to apps | TechCrunch

Facebook requests Hyde-Smith return campaign contribution | TheHill

Facebook has joined a growing list of companies asking for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) to return their campaign contributions.

The social media platform requested a refund on its $2,500 donation, a spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.

“The recent public comments made by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith do not reflect the values or mission of Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Hill. “Our PAC contribution was made before these comments were made, and we have asked the Hyde-Smith campaign to return our campaign donation.”

Source: Facebook requests Hyde-Smith return campaign contribution | TheHill

Facebook outage hits some users on East Coast

Competing social network Twitter awash with reports of not being able to use the site, with #FacebookDown trending.

Outages hit users on the East Coast and spread, according to downdetector.com. Users soon took to Twitter to vent or joke, with #FacebookDown trending, and people expressing their need to get a social media fix in humorous ways, including one tweet from the official feed for Dictionary.com, which defined Twitter as a noun and a place we all go to talk about Facebook being down.

Source: Facebook outage hits some users on East Coast

Facebook Removes ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Ads, Responds To Chelsea Clinton

Facebook came under fire following reports about ads that promoted “Gay Conversion Therapy” targeting LGBT people.

The former first daughter tweeted earlier in the same day that “Conversion therapy” was akin to child abuse. She wanted the ads and their “practices” be made illegal everywhere.

Chelsea Clinton

@ChelseaClinton

Child abuse. “Conversion therapy” is child abuse. There are not two sides to this question and these ads – and the practices they promote – should be illegal everywhere. Full stop. https://twitter.com/rvawonk/status/1034940628487090181 

Facebook

@facebook

We don’t allow ads that promote gay conversion therapy on Facebook. We removed these ads after further review. While we may miss some, we’re working hard to make sure we quickly find and take down bad ads.

On Sunday, The Telegraph reported that Facebook removed some “Conversion therapy” adverts that targeted members of the LGBT community after reports about a flaw with the micro-targeting algorithm employed by the social media giant for choosing audiences for ads.

Source: Facebook Removes ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Ads, Responds To Chelsea Clinton

Facebook says it just found 652 fake accounts out of Russia and Iran – Vox

Faceook revealed on Tuesday that it has removed about 650 pages, groups, and accounts it determined are part of a coordinated disinformation campaign out of Russia — and Iran.

The Menlo Park, California-based company said that it has scrapped 652 fake accounts and pages that targeted Facebook users in the United States, United Kingdom, Latin America, and the Middle East. Facebook said that it undertook four separate investigations into aspects of the suspicious activity, three of which were related to Iran, and the fourth to Russian military intelligence services. The Iranian and Russian campaigns were unrelated, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a call with reporters on Tuesday evening.

Zuckerberg said Facebook banned the fake accounts and announced the decision was “because authenticity matters, and people need to be able to trust the connections that they make on Facebook.”

Source: Facebook says it just found 652 fake accounts out of Russia and Iran – Vox

Facebook is putting $4.5 million to helping the news industry – CNET

Facebook’s latest quarterly profit was more than $5 billion.

Facebook is putting $4.5 million toward helping the news industry, by donating to a fund for nonprofit newsrooms and kicking off a program to help publishers that need memberships to make money.

Facebook, which earned more than $5 billion in profit in its latest three-month quarter, said earlier this year that would renew its focus on things like local news. But in the last month, Facebook has come under a wave of criticism about how it handles fake news and misinformation on its site. Much of the latest outcry has stemmed from the company’s inconsistent explanations about whether outlets like Infowars and harmful content cross the lineand need to be removed.

Source: Facebook is putting $4.5 million to helping the news industry – CNET

The biggest problem for Facebook and Netflix is they are running out of humans – MarketWatch

Subscriber numbers cannot increase forever.

We’ve reached the end of the internet

The promise of any internet-oriented company is that growth is limitless. Software scales quickly and with amazing margins, and every human with an internet connection is a potential customer.

But what happens when you run out of humans?

That’s not a rhetorical question. According to Pew Research Center, 89% of Americans are active on the internet. Exclude Americans 50 and older, and that jumps to 97%. Almost a quarter of Americans say they are almost constantly online.

The idea that America’s internet addicts simply haven’t heard of Facebook or Netflix is just plain dumb. And the numbers bear that out.

Source: The biggest problem for Facebook and Netflix is they are running out of humans – MarketWatch

(USA Today) – Facebook’s WhatsApp hits 900 million users, aims for 1 billion

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum photographed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he announces that WhatsApp has hit 900 million monthly active users.(Photo: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook)

SAN FRANCISCO — WhatsApp has reached 900 million monthly active users, cementing Facebook’s dominance in mobile messaging.

Facebook owns the world’s two most popular apps: WhatsApp, which it bought for billions, and its homegrown app, Facebook Messenger, which recently announced it has 700 million monthly active users.

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum made the announcement on Facebook on Thursday evening.

Monthly active users isn’t the best way to measure activity on a messaging app. WhatsApp did not say how many messages are being sent each day, for example. But the growth is impressive. WhatsApp announced it had crossed 800 million in April. That is no small feat for either app: Smartphone owners spend more time in messaging apps than any other app.

Messenger is also surging in popularity. It’s now the second-most popular app in the U.S, surpassing Google-owned YouTube, according to a comScore report.

By way of comparison: Twitter has a bit more than 300 million monthly active users. Instagram, the photo and video sharing app owned by Facebook, also has about 300 million.

Still, WhatsApp faces fierce competition from Asian rivals. And those apps are making money from games, virtual goods and other in-app wares, moneymaking opportunities that Koum has rejected.

So far Facebook has not tried to milk WhatsApp and it’s still unclear how it plans to. In the first half of 2014, WhatsApp made $15 million from subscription fees on a loss of $232.5 million. WhatsApp was charging users $1 a year, with the first year free, before it was bought by Facebook.

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that the company is not yet ready to turn on the moneymaking spigot with Messenger or WhatsApp.

Zuckerberg has said Facebook has “many clear ways” to make money from a product once it reaches one billion users.

“This may sound a little ridiculous to say, but for us, products don’t really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about 1 billion people using them,” Zuckerberg said in 2014.

One billion people, one out of seven on the planet, used Facebook on a single day in August .

“This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Source: Facebook’s WhatsApp hits 900 million users, aims for 1 billion