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New Facebook developer regs not rogue-proof

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Facebook app developers will need to verify their account with the social network before they are allowed to create applications under a new scheme, but experts are nonplussed by the proposals.

The scheme relies on authentication via either confirming ownership of a particular mobile phone number or submitting credit card details, which will only be used for verification purposes and not charged.

"We're taking this step to preserve the integrity of Facebook Platform, ensuring that every application is associated with a valid and real Facebook account," a member of the Facebook Platform team explained in a blog entry introducing the changes on Wednesday.

Rogue applications on Facebook are a commonplace problem that has grown more prevalent over recent months. Rik Ferguson, a senior security consultant at Trend Micro, said Facebook's attempts to clamp down on the problem are welcome, but unlikely to be effective.

"The measures are not good enough," Ferguson explained. "If you are trying to stop criminals creating rogue applications them you have to assume they have access to counterfeit credit card details. They're also likely to have access to disposable mobile phone numbers."

"Facebook need to inspect code uploaded onto its site rather than trying to verify developer accounts." ®

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