Facebook disables some legitimate apps while targeting malicious ones

Some genuine apps were disabled as part of an action against malicious apps

The use of tools to detect malicious patterns in apps led Facebook to temporarily disable some legitimate third-party apps that integrate with the social networking website, it said Thursday.

On Tuesday, a number of people complained that their Facebook developer accounts and apps were unavailable.

Facebook said it uses automated systems to identify and disable malicious apps, so as to protect its platform and users. These techniques identify a malicious pattern, find the apps that match that pattern, and then disable those apps.

"This normally results in thousands of malicious apps being disabled and improves our automated systems' ability to detect similar attacks in the future," Facebook employee Eugene Zarakhovsky wrote in a blog post.

But on Tuesday, Facebook started with a broad pattern that correctly matched many thousands of malicious apps but also matched many high-quality apps.

"When we detected this error, we immediately stopped the process and began work to restore access," Zarakhovsky wrote. "The process took longer than expected because of the number of apps affected and bugs related to the restoration of app metadata."

Facebook did not say how many legitimate apps were affected.

The company now plans to make improvements to its processes and technology, including better tools to identify overly broad patterns and better processes to verify that all the apps matched are in fact malicious. It will also address the bugs and bottlenecks that slowed down the recovery process.

Facebook has been unveiling tools to get developers to integrate their apps with its platform. In April it announced plans to acquire Parse, a cloud-based platform that provides cross-platform services and tools for developers. "By making Parse a part of Facebook Platform, we want to enable developers to rapidly build apps that span mobile platforms and devices," it said at the time.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesinternetFacebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?