Facebook Teams With ESET To Combat Malware

In response to growing security concerns, Facebook on Wednesday announced a partnership with IT security vendor ESET.

The tie-up follows similar deals struck with anti-malware specialists F-Secure and Trend Micro, in May.

These days — with major malware attacks making headlines left and right — tech companies can’t have enough security partners, according to Chetan Gowda, a software engineer on Facebook’s Site Integrity team.

“A larger number of providers increases the chances that malware will get caught and cleaned up, which will help people on Facebook keep their information more secure,” Gowda explained in a Wednesday blog post.

For Facebook, F-Secure and Trend Micro built free versions of their security products directly into the social giant’s platform. It is now working with ESET to incorporate its proprietary software into existing abuse detection and prevention systems.

“Together, these three systems will help us block malicious links and harmful sites from populating the News Feeds and Messages of the 1.35 billion people who use Facebook,” according to Gowda.

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Going forward, if a user’s device is behaving suspiciously and shows signs of a possible malware infection, a message will appear offering a free anti-malware scan.

Due to its sheer size, Facebook is always big target for malicious actors. From the end of 2012 through the end of 2013, Facebook saw its share of digital scams nearly double, according to data from Bitedefender. That translated to roughly 10,000 free voucher scams circulating on people’s timelines, which “promise gifts for loved ones but deliver fraudulent surveys designed to grab their money and financial details,” as well as 440 stalker scams using variants of the old “guess who viewed your profile” trick.

For the sake of consumers — and their own bottom lines — marketers have recently ramped up digital security efforts. In October, for example, the 4As, The Association of National Advertisers and IAB announced the formation of a first-of-its-kind cross-industry group designed to fight ad fraud, malware and the piracy of intellectual property.

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