Instagram user passwords exposed because of bug

Judy Cobb
November 19, 2018

This means that if anyone used the Instagram tool on a computer open to use by the public, others could have viewed the password, The Information reveals. As per a report from The Information, the bug was tied to Instagram's "Download Your Data" tool that it introduced in April this year in wake of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect from May 25. Called "Download Your Data", the tool is a strong dose of irony, allowing users to see how much of their personal data Instagram has collected. This tool gathers all your data, makes it ready for download, and then sends the user a link via email, clicking which will enable users to download all their Instagram data.

These passwords were also stored on Facebook's servers, although they have since been deleted. Users will be able to download information like photos, videos, comments, and more. At this point, the breadth of the flaw is unclear, but Instagram says the issue was "discovered internally and affected a very small number of people". Passwords of users who accessed the said feature were available in the URL of their web browsers.

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The Information previously reported that Facebook is in the market to acquire a security company to beef up its defenses against hackers and try to avoid these kinds of mistakes.

Anyone whose account was affected is said to have already received an email about the issue from Instagram.

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