Feeds

Facebook offers 500 million users SSL crypto

Turn it on yourself...bitch

Boost IT visibility and business value

Facebook is giving all users the option of accessing its social networking service via SSL encryption.

The move comes a day after pranksters hacked into the Facebook page of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and less than a month after the company reportedly turned on SSL encryption for anyone viewing the site inside Tunisia, where malicious code was apparently pilfering the login details of users critical of the local government.

"Facebook currently uses HTTPS whenever your password is sent to us, but today we're expanding its usage in order to help keep your data even more secure," the company said Wednesday in a blog post. "Starting today we'll provide you with the ability to experience Facebook entirely over HTTPS. You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public Internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools."

Facebook says that the new tool will be rolled out "slowly" over the next few weeks. Once it's available to you, you can turn on your HTTP connection by visiting the "Account Security" section of Facebook's Account Settings page.

The move was praised by several prominent voices across the web. "Facebook now allows HTTPS/SSL all the time on FB," tweeted über-Googler Matt Cutts. "Huge props to FB! Everyone turn it on! Please."

But that's the rub. Users are required to turn it on themselves. Ideally, Facebook should turn HTTPS on by default. But it can save cash by merely making it an option, knowing that only a small portion of users will actually flip the switch.

Google automatically turns on SSL encryption for all Gmail users, and it offers HTTPS as an option with its search engine and various other services. Microsoft is offering SSL as an option with Hotmail – though it may not work in tandem with complementary tools such as Redmond Outlook Hotmail Connector and Windows Live Mail. Yahoo! and MySpace have yet offer always-on HTTPS, even as an option.

With today's blog post, the company also introduced what it calls "social authentication". If Facebook suspects your account has been compromised, it may show you pictures of your online friends and ask you to identify them.

"Instead of showing you a traditional captcha on Facebook, one of the ways we may help verify your identity is through social authentication. We will show you a few pictures of your friends and ask you to name the person in those photos. Hackers halfway across the world might know your password, but they don't know who your friends are," the company said. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?