Facebook Taps Yahoo Exec To Head Security

Facebook admires Yahoo’s security system -- so much so that the social giant just poached Alex Stamos, Yahoo’s chief information security officer.

The appointment comes at a time of growing uncertainty about the safety of the information that consumers share with Facebook and other online services.

Addressing the inherent “risk” that consumers face in the digital, Stamos blogged on Thursday: “It is the responsibility of our industry to build the safest, most trustworthy products possible.”

Facebook has certainly faced certainly its security challenges. Earlier this year, a Web developer named Laxman Muthiyah claimed to have figured out how to delete every one of those hundreds of billions of images on the social network. Luckily for Facebook’s more than a billion users, Muthiyah reported the security hole to the company.

Among other security efforts, Facebook recently released Security Checkup -- a feature that prompts users to explore password security options when surfing the mobile Web.

In February, Facebook also rolled out ThreatExchange -- an API-based platform for sharing security threat information. Inspired by a collaboration with other technology companies, the exchange had been in the works for a little over a year before its official debut.

ThreatExchange is built on the existing Facebook platform infrastructure, onto which it layered APIs. Partner companies can query the available threat information, as well as publish to all or a subset of participating organizations.

Normally, security threat data is freely available information, like domain names and malware samples. Yet, for situations where a company might only want to share certain indicators with companies known to be experiencing the same issues, Facebook added built-in controls to make limited sharing possible.

Earlier partner companies included Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Yahoo, according Hammell. More recent participants include Bitly and Dropbox.

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