Skip to main content

Facebook enlists Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and others to fight web threats together

Facebook enlists Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and others to fight web threats together

Share this story

Facebook is bringing together some of the biggest web companies to collaborate on stamping out security threats. It's doing this through a platform being announced today called ThreatExchange, which allows companies to share information on malicious links, phishing attempts, malware, and other attacks that they've seen or experienced. So far, Twitter, Tumblr, Yahoo, Pinterest, Dropbox, and Bitly are all working with ThreatExchange. The hope is that they'll each share new information as they receive it, allowing each other to quickly prepare for or even prevent future attacks.

It's sort of like a social network for cyberthreats

ThreatExchange is more than just a message board where these companies can work together. According to Gigaom, Facebook has built in some of the technology that it uses to find connections between people on its social network, and that apparently allows ThreatExchange to find connections between threats. ThreatExchange even has the equivalent of privacy settings, so if one company is sharing private information, they can set it up so that only other companies experiencing similar issues can see it.

Tech companies have long been fairly private on security, but the idea here is that collaboration is going to be necessary to resolve many modern threats. Facebook gives the example of a botnet it encountered that was hosted across multiple companies' servers — sharing information to get a "complete picture" of the attack was apparently "key" to stopping it. The data that these companies are sharing over at ThreatExchange will usually be information that's already public, but it's the ability for companies to collaborate privately about larger issues that could ultimately lead to safer systems for all of them. ThreatExchange is launching in a beta today, and Facebook says that it would eventually like any organization to be able to use it.