Social network against hackers
Posted by Ágnes Taraszovics · Feb 27, 2015

Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Yahoo teamed up against phishing and malware hacker attacks.

Make the Internet and their own services secure is a constant challenge even for the most gigantic corporations. What has not been succeeded even for the President of the US, perhaps now will for the giants of the IT industry.

As it happened a little more than a year ago, a group of technology companies gathered together to discuss a spam attack sent by a botnet (robot network of computers) that threatened many of their services. It quickly turned out that the information sharing is essential in the defense, as the attacks operated by botnets affects a lot of associated services, but either of the companies had comprehensive view of the malwares’ operation. At this meeting, it became clear that there is a need to share information on the threats in a more efficient manner, since these attacks are usually targeting more large enterprises and the exchange of experience and the joint action could significantly facilitate to defend themselves.

Based on this discussion, Facebook offered to create that we now know (or we will know shortly) as ThreatExchange. This is an API-based platform of the information exchange where registered and filtered members can share their experience and knowledge with each other. The platform for effective action against botnets and malware campaigns is built on Facebook’s infrastructure, and based on the ThreatData framework that has been created previous year by the community site, and that provides the possibility of feedback, data storage and the real-time response.

During the development of ThreatExchange the early feedbacks from ThreatData meant great help. These feedbacks were generally speaking of one thing: the first partners considered necessary a standard, reliable platform that provides flexibility at the same time, so the organizations could share informations publicly, or narrowed to a group. As a result, a set of privacy controls have been built into the system to make the possibility of a secure, private platform for the participants (and, not incidentally, it also established ThreatExchange).

The confidential nature of the informations changing ownership via ThreatExchange is manifestly vital (we should not confer the hackers further benefits with seeing into the other side’s head) so this page is subject to registration of course. Threat datas (such as the names of the malware models and malicious domains) are typically freely available information within the system. But it’s also feasible with full safety if a company only wants to share some of the indicators with parties who are struggling with similar problems.

Among the first users and supporters there are such companies as Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yahoo, but Bitly and Dropbox has expressed an interest as well. The platform is still running in test mode, but they expect further participants to register on threatexchange.fb.com.

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