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Facebook lends its hand to cybersecurity with new data sharing platform

Facebook has created a new platform where organisations can share information on cybersecurity and threats they’re faced with.

The platform, called ThreatExchange, was unveiled this week. Facebook has been working on it for the past year, ever since a number of internet companies, including Facebook itself, faced a botnet that abused their networks and sent spam messages everywhere.

The idea behind the service is to help security experts share information so that they don’t end up trying to solve the same problem more than once.

“Tools for sharing security information between organisations don’t work if they are inefficient or too complex. That’s why many teams end up trying to solve the same problems that others have already tackled” it says on the ThreatExchange site.

“We quickly learned that sharing with one another was key to beating the botnet because parts of it were hosted on our respective services and none of us had the complete picture,” said Mark Hammell, manager of the Threat Infrastructure team at Facebook, in a blog post.

“During our discussions, it became clear that what we needed was a better model for threat sharing."

ThreatExchange is built on Facebook’s infrastructure, giving companies APIs (application programming interfaces) for querying or uploading new threat data, including malicious domain names, malware samples, etc.

Bitly, Dropbox, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yahoo are all part of the new platform, and ThreatExchange expects more companies to come on board as the platform grows.

Organisations that wish to join the beta program can fill out a form on the ThreatExchange site.