Instagram’s Data Download Tool Accidentally Leaked Users’ Passwords

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The company recently introduced the "Your Activity" dashboard to tackle the users spending more and more time on their app.

A spokesperson issued a statement to the Information, saying the issue impacted a "small number of people", but conceded that people sharing a network may also have had their data compromised.

According to the Information, Instagram notified an unconfirmed number of affected users that a new tool that debuted in April was the cause of the security error. Furthermore, the passwords were stored on Facebook computers. The company also said that the passwords stored on Facebook's servers have also been deleted since the issue came into notice. Instagram has confirmed that the URL shared while using the tool included the user's password information as well, something that should not be the case.

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The tech news website reports that Chet Wisniewski, a principal research scientist at security firm Sophos has said that if Instagram were storing passwords with the right encryption technology, this type of flaw shouldn't be possible.

It remains a mystery why Instagram would store passwords in plain text, which is considered bad practice - like, really bad practice.

At this point, the scope of the flaw is unknown. Users affected are encouraged to change their passwords and clear their browser history. Users who didn't receive a notification are apparently fine, but it never hurts to enable two-factor authorization if you haven't already.

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