Feeds

Facebook flashes its One Tool To Rule Them All in security threat analysis

Code, or it didn't happen

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Facebook has bragged about a new internal tool that combines all sorts of live data on internet security threats – such as any new malware doing the rounds and known dodgy URLS.

The social network's engineers said the utility, imaginatively dubbed ThreatData, collects software nasties shared by researchers and also throws in intelligence gathered by Facebook plus information it buys from infosec firms.

Unfortunately, these sources each deliver their data in different ways, so ThreatData translates them into a common format. It then cross-references the data with its two existing security databases, Hive (which stores long-term threat data) and Scuba (which stores warnings received in the last few days).

It's just possible Facebook is building a security analysis framework for everyone to use, not just Menlo Park techies, and that ThreatData is the basis for this software.

For now, though, ThreatData remains behind closed doors, but we're told it's impressive, naturally: putting all the threat data under a single roof allows the social network to spot attacks and trends in plenty of time, even ahead of security research companies, Facebook claims.

"We decided we would employ our framework to construct a light-weight set of hashes expressly not detected by our chosen anti-virus product and feed those hashes directly into our custom security event management system," Mark Hammell, threat researcher at Facebook, said on Tuesday.

"The results have been impressive: we've detected both adware and malware installed on visiting vendor computers that no single anti-virus product could have found for us."

Hammell said that ThreatData had also allowed Facebook to tamp down malicious code much more quickly. Last summer, malware that made victims' feature-phones send premium-rate text messages hit Facebook customers, but a similar attack in December was crippled by ThreatData.

The utility is just for Facebook's internal use only at the moment, but a company spokesman reminded us that FB has in the past opened up its homegrown tech to the wider community under open source licenses. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.