Google stored G Suite passwords in plain text for 14 years

Submitted by tess on Thu, 05/23/2019 - 13:33

Google announced this week that some of its G Suite customers had their passwords stored on its systems in plaintext… for 14 years. Oops. G Suite is a business version of popular Google apps like Hangouts, Drive, Docs, and Gmail. There are around five million customers., but the tech giant declined to give exact numbers on many accounts were affected.

Google vice president of engineering Suzanne Frey wrote in a blog this week: “We recently notified a subset of our enterprise G Suite customers that some passwords were stored in our encrypted internal systems unhashed.”

Passwords are typically scrambled using a hashing algorithm so they cannot be read by humans. G Suite administrators can manually upload, set and recover new user passwords for customers. Google realized  in April that the way G Suite implemented password setting and recovery for some customers from 2005 was faulty, and a copy of the password was stored in plaintext. The feature has been removed.

Google isn’t the only tech giant that’s been a bit rubbish at storing users passwords. In March this year, Facebook stored 600 million user passwords in plain text. Last month, Facebook was also caught storing millions of Instagram passwords in a readable format and asked users for their email’s passwords for “verification.”  

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