Facebook Unveils ThreatExchange Platform

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

New Facebook platform to allow professionals to share threat data to help bolster cyber security

Facebook has unveiled a data exchange platform to help researchers and professionals share the latest cyber threat information with each other.

The idea of the ThreatExchange platform is to help security professionals exchange information so they can deal with the growing number of worldwide cyberthreats.

ThreatExchange Platform

The new platform (currently in beta) was revealed by Mark Hammell, Facebook’s manager of threat infrastructure, in a blog posting.

Hammell said that Facebook had toyed with the idea of having such a kind of threat based analysis exchange a year ago, when it had to collaborate and exchange attack information with Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yahoo in order to stop a massive botnet-powered malware campaign.

threat detectionHe pointed out that Facebook already has a framework that stores cyberthreat information for later analysis by security pros, but the new platform builds on this.

The Facebook ThreatData Security Platform was introduced back in March 2014, and lets Facebook do security in real-time, whilst efficiently collecting data for long-term analysis.

But the new platform is intended to make the sharing of information much easier.

“Feedback from our early partners centered on the need for a consistent, reliable platform that could provide flexibility for organisations to be more open or selective about the information they share,” Hammel blogged. “As a result, we included a set of privacy controls so that participants can share only with the group or groups they wish.”

And the Facebook ThreatExchange platform already boasts the participation of a number of big name players including Bitly, Dropbox, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Yahoo. More partners are expected in the future, and can sign up on the website.

“Our goal is that organisations anywhere will be able to use ThreatExchange to share threat information more easily, learn from each other’s discoveries, and make their own systems safer,” wrote Hammell. “That’s the beauty of working together on security. When one company gets stronger, so do the rest of us.”

Last August, the social network beefed up the security of the server estate inside its data centres, with the purchase of PrivateCore, a startup founded by former Google and VMware employees.

Facebook has also switched on HTTPS protection for its customers.

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