Facebook has attempted a rather unusual strategy for safeguarding the privacy of its users. The company has opted to buy account databases from black market networks and underground hacking communities.
Facebook Protects Privacy By Buying on The Black Market
The social media company has opted to safeguard the privacy of their users by doing some rather unusual tactics. Facebook has gone to great extremes by going to the hacker underground networks and buying databases containing user data. Facebook has adopted this new mechanism to better protect their customers by protecting them from any abuse that might come from attackers who are in possession of the data.
The Chief Security Officer of the company Alex Stamos has stated that the social network has bought account credentials from hackers from underground black markets. A specialist team from Facebook’s side has cross-referenced the contained username and password combinations with the ones that are stored in encrypted form on the service to protect the users. This is being done to protect the accounts from any potential security breaches.
Alex Stamos has spoken at Lisbon’s Web Summit where he revealed that Facebook is now relying on this technique. According to a quote made by CNET the Chief Security Officer has stated the following:
Keeping Facebook safe and keeping it secure are two different things; security is about building walls to keep out threats and shore up defenses. It turns out that we can build perfectly secure software and yet people can still get hurt
Its not surprising that the bought databases have come from the mass hacker breaches on cloud storage platforms and other social networks and online services such as Dropbox, Yahoo, Twitter and others. The harvested data was offered on various auctions and grand sales on the various underground communities and hackers are often used in highly personalized social engineering attacks that infect the target victims with ransomware and other dangerous malware viruses.
Stamos has revealed that one of the most critical causes of security breaches on various online services and platforms is the reusing of passwords. During the analysis the experts concluded that easy to guess strings such as “123456” were one of the most commonly used passwords. The majority of the bought accounts from the black market contained the string as a password.
When the security analysts from the social network found out about the problem they immediately issued a mandatory password reset on the affected users to defend them from any possible breaches.