Facebook buys stolen passwords from hackers to ensure its users security

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The social media giant, Facebook always keeps its hands forward to serve its best to its users. This time, in a report, it is found that the company spends loads of money to buy the compromised passwords which have been selling in the black market.

The company’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos has stated at Web Summit in Lisbon that Facebook purchases such passwords from hackers to cross reference the stolen passwords with encrypted passwords on the platform to ensure that whether their users are not using them.

Stamos further stated, “Keeping Facebook safe and keeping it secure are two different things.” “Security is about building walls to keep out threats and shore up defences,” but safety is bigger than that, the CSO says. “It turns out that we can build perfectly secure software and yet people can still get hurt,” he observed.

“Usernames and passwords are an idea that come out of 1970s mainframe architectures….they were not built for 2016,” said Stamos. “The reuse of passwords is the No. 1 cause of harm on the internet,” Stamos noted.

The process of alerting the users who are using a vulnerable password requires a big loft of time and powerful computers as it is ‘computationally heavy’. And to ensure the security the company is deploying various tools and methods which range from two-step verification to identification of faces of friends.

Facebook also applies machine learning algorithms to spot any kind of suspicious activity which suggests a case of fraudulent. The company is also working on a concept in which if an account is hacked, its close friends will be allowed to raise the account recovery request.

“Even though we provide these options, it is our responsibility to think about those people that choose not to use them,” Stamos concluded.

The company has also been warning the people to not use the passwords like ‘123456’ or ‘098765’ as using these types of combinations makes their accounts become prone to more security threats. Facebook has also observed that most of the stolen passwords combinations were of these types.

About the author

Rishabh Rajvanshi

Rishabh, with six years of experience in the newspaper industry, has co-founded The TeCake in 2013. Apart from writing and editing articles on Technology at The TeCake, he also contributes to other esteemed newspapers.

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