Facebook builds up its defenses

The redesign of its Safety Center is just one of the steps Facebook is lately taking to tackle the security issues that have been steadily rising along with the number of users.

As Max Kelly, Facebook’s Director of Security, explained during his keynote presentation at the Black Hat security conference in Barcelona on Tuesday, circa 10% of the 1,200 company’s employees are engaged in security-related tasks. 20 people form the core security team, 15 constitute the site integrity team, and around 200 people altogether monitor illegal activity on the social network.

Facebook has also put in place an automated detection system that identifies aberrant user behavior and initiates defensive maneuvers such as forcing the user to pass through CAPTCHAs to prove it is human and not a bot, limiting the number of messages that can be sent from the account and, finally, disabling accounts if the situation demands it.

PCWorld reports that so far, the security teams have concentrated more on the attackers and finding ways to thwart them, even though they appreciate users who notify them of vulnerabilities and problems that might lead to abuse. “If it’s a really good hack, we’ll probably end up hiring you,” says Kelly.

Finding who is behind the attack is a top priority for Facebook. Over the years, they have raised criminal and civil charges against the various attackers and have been awarded huge amounts of money. Even though it is likely that they will not see it deposited on the company account, they firmly believe that such sentences will make malicious individuals think twice about targeting the Network’s users.

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