As a precaution, many people use different passwords for every website they visit to avoid the possibility of one getting hacked and their information being stolen. But what happens if your password gets hacked? Facebook is trying to fill this gap by buying “cracked” passwords from these kinds of sellers; Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has revealed in a recent post that his company had purchased the hacked passwords of millions of Facebook users. With this strategy, Zuckerberg says, “we can offer better protection to our users.” However, this move was not without controversy.
Why is buying stolen passwords useful?
Everyone probably already knows that almost anything can be bought on the internet, including personal data and passwords. The biggest problem with these databases is never that they can be used to access a particular service, but that most people use the same password everywhere – the email/password pair from the latest forum is an excellent way to log in to many other services.
Facebook has until recently been quite adept at avoiding scandals, and as it turns out, there is a reason for this. The company believes that it’s not enough to produce secure software (as we can see from the above, Facebook’s system is not secure if someone knows your password); there are many other important ways to protect your privacy. One of these is shopping on the black market.
Yes, Facebook buys the data made public – not to prevent others from buying it, of course, which could never be guaranteed. Instead, what Facebook does is to compare the passwords it acquires with the user’s password – so that it can be seen in a matter of seconds if someone is using code that is not considered secure. Facebook can notify these users and force them to change their passwords. As Facebook experts explained, analyzing passwords is a resource-intensive operation, but the security of users is paramount for social networking sites. And rightly so.