Facebook takes a bite out of cybercrime with new Antivirus Marketplace

facebook-security

Facebook has just announced the launch of its all-new Antivirus Marketplace.

The social network has partnered with Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos, and Symantec to improve security for Facebook users around the world. The new marketplace offers downloads, information on current threats, tips for users, a Facebook security guide, and more.

“Now that Facebook is a primary platform for communication, whether you’re nine or ninety-nine, it’s only become a bigger target for cybercriminals,” said Carol Carpenter, general manager of TrendMicro’s consumer division, in a release.

Security has long been a top priority for Facebook. The company has a vigilant corps of white-hat pros working to eliminate phishing attacks, spam, scams, and other forms of “evil” Facebook activities from those who are up to no good.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use Facebook and the security of their data,” a Facebooker writes in a blog post this morning. “Now, all of Facebook’s more than 845 million users will be protected by the combined intelligence of these industry leaders.”

In the Antivirus Marketplace, Facebook users will be able to grab free downloads from the aforementioned partners. “We believe that arming our users with anti-virus software will help empower them to stay safe no matter where they are on the web,” the blog post reads.

Users will receive free six-month licenses for full versions of anti-virus software, offering protection from both current and future viruses.

In a recent meeting with Facebook security professionals, VentureBeat learned just how much time and effort the company puts into security, from the simply annoying facts of life of the Internet (such as “game spam” from friends) to the truly malevolent (such as phishing for bank and other personal details).

“With spam on Facebook, we’re a victim of our own success,” said Facebook security team member Frederic Wollens. In email, for example, users are fairly aware of what spam looks and feels like, and we’ve trained ourselves to ignore it. But on Facebook, spam coming from friends is more likely to be trusted — hence, more likely to be successful in its aims.

“Protecting each other against the bad guys requires cooperation and today’s announcement represents the shared commitment by leaders of the security community to defend everyone against existing threats, anticipating new ones, and arming people with the tools they need to protect themselves,” the team concludes.

Symantec also worked with Facebook on a joint whitepaper about scams and spam on the social network. The report, available as a PDF, goes into detail on the newest types of nefarious Facebook schemes, from likejacking to self-XSS attacks. And while Facebook has told VentureBeat that some types of Facebook security threats, such as large-scale phishing attacks, have been “largely solved,” the bad guys keep hatching new ways to infiltrate Facebook users’ computers and identities for their own profit.

In the end, the Facebook security team told us, user education is the company’s biggest gun in its ongoing war on cybercrime. And today’s launch is a little bit of help in the form of software and a whole lot of education.


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