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Facebook Buys Passwords on the Deep Web to Keep Users Safe
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Facebook Buys Passwords on the Deep Web to Keep Users Safe

by Francisco MemoriaNovember 15, 2016

Security breaches are fairly common nowadays, but a few companies, like Facebook, manage to stay safe. As it turns out, Facebook doesn’t just have an amazing security team. It goes out of its way to protect users.

Alex Stamos, Facebook’s CSO, revealed at the Web Summit in Lisbon the Facebook actively buys password dumps on the deep web, in order to keep its users safe. The move aims to protect its users who don’t actively protect themselves with Facebook’s security features.

Stamos said that:

The reuse of passwords is the number one cause of harm on the internet.

Essentially, Facebook buys passwords from black markets on the deep web, so it can then figure out which ones are used by cross-referencing them. The task is described as “computationally heavy”. According to the security chief, it has helped the company warn millions of users their passwords were simply not strong enough.

Looking at data dumps, it’s clear how many of them are a string of numbers such as “12345”. A password like this makes you a vulnerable target. Facebook keeps its users safe in a number of ways, including several security features.

Facebook’s commitment to security

According to Alex Stamos, Facebook can build perfectly secure software, but that isn’t enough to keep its users safe. They go out of their way to protect people, as there are a number of ways they can get their account stolen.

The company is apparently very committed to keeping its users safe. It doesn’t just offer two-factor authentication. It applies algorithms that determine whether or not the activity on your account if fraudulent, and allows you to verify your account with your friends’ help.

Facebook cross-references passwords in order to protect users that don’t take advantage of its security features. The company hopes they’ll, at least, have a strong password to protect them.

Featured image from Shutterstock.


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