About a year ago, Facebook noticed a massive, one-of-a-kind botnet-powered malware slinging campaign that used various social networking services to push malicious software onto the machines of as many users as possible. The flagship social networking site couldn’t stop it then, without help from Pinterest, Tumblr and others.
The botnet-powered malware used jagged web properties to host content or propagate or simply to obscure the nature of the attack.
Fast forward a year, andFacebook has partnered with Bitly, Dropbox, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and Yahoo to launch ThreatExchange, its latest weapon dedicated to combat against cyber-security threats posed by botnets, malware and hackers.
Mark Hammell, manager of Threat Infrastructure team at Facebook, explained in a post that ThreatExchange will be used for exchanging security threat information and can be considered as the world’s first scalable threat fight data center.
ThreatExchange to Share Cybersecurity Threats
It is built on the existing Facebook platform infrastructure, with layered APIs on top, so that various partnering social networking services can query the available threat information. In addition to this, it can also be published to all or a subset of participating services.
Facebook revealed that threat data is freely available information such as domain names and malware sample. Although, for certain circumstances where a particular company wants only to share certain indicators with companies that are known to be experiencing similar issues, special built-in controls will help make limited sharing easier and to further avoid errors using a pre-defined set of data fields.
ThreatExchange will help share data regarding cyber-security attacks, whether it is botnets, malware or hackers. It will most certainly help us battle against any hacker group that is capable of launching a cyber-war against the interest of the partnering networking services and tech companies and exploit any weaknesses in them.
Although, a lot of names in the partnering firms list are Facebook rivals, it looks like the tech companies are keen overcome cyber-security threats by setting aside any aside competitive concerns. ThreatExchange is a visible example of a recent shift in the world of internet security.
We’ve seen a lot of online companies unwilling to share their security data with the outside world with the core fear that it would simply reveal their resources and intentions to attackers. In recent years, a lot of companies realized that sharing such data and techniques would simply help them win the cyber-security war.
Google and Facebook have been at the forefront of this moment. In October2014, Facebook built OSquery, an open-sourced tool aimed at identifying cyber-attacks on computers across the company. Both, Google and Facebook’s bug bounty programs encourage users to locate and identify security loopholes, something that not many companies did before.
Facebook hopes that more and more tech companies will be able to leverage on the platform, where they can easily share threat information in an efficient manner and learn more from each other’s discovers, thus making their owns systems much safer.