Online privacy has been a hot topic this year, what with the Heartbleed exploit a few months ago that had website owners patching like crazy to the latest news that over 1.2 billion login details have been stolen by a Russian team of cyber criminals, login details that access over 420,000 different websites ranging from Forbes 500 companies to the small one man companies. There was no discrimination in value of the targets, it was simply a mass grab. So the news that Facebook are buying an on-line security company called PrivateCore is a sign that Facebook have your interests at heart (at least in this case anyway).
Who are PrivateCore? Well, they are located in Palo Alto, California and consist of a number of veterans of online security from both VMware and Google who have developed software that validates and secures server data. In a statement on their website their CEO, Oded Horovitz says that they “…worked tirelessly on our technology to protect servers from malware threats, unauthorised physical access and malicious hardware devices.” He went on to say that Facebook plans to deploy PrivateCore’s technology onto the Facebook stack, helping to protect their users from on-line threats. It’s not known exactly how much the purchase of PrivateCore is costing Facebook, although it’s doubtful that it’s in the same league as the WhatsApp, Oculus or Instagram acquisitions.
Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Joe Sullivan had this to say about the purchase of PrivateCore: “I believe that PrivateCore’s technology and expertise will help support Facebook’s mission to help make the world more open and connected, in a secure and trusted way. Over time, we plan to deploy PrivateCore’s technology directly into the Facebook server stack. I can’t wait to have them join Facebook”. The rest of his post can be read here. Facebook will be deploying PrivateCore’s vCage technology on its servers, which will protect both servers and any virtual machines running on those servers, warding off threats like rootkits and bootkits that can slip by traditional anti-virus offerings as well as helping to increase Facebooks control over its server infrastructure.
It’s comforting to find out that Facebook are taking steps to safeguard our data, trying to stay ahead of the hackers and the gangs of online criminals who are relentless in their attempts to steal our private, most personal data to use for their own gains. This is an ongoing effort because for every hole that Facebook fills in, the nefarious types will find or create another. Do you worry about the personal information that you have stored on sites like Facebook? Will the news of Facebook bolstering their online defenses help you sleep easier at night? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or at our Google Plus page.