Facebook and Websense partner for malicious link protection


Facebook and Websense have joined forces to offer greater protection for users by scanning every link on the site.

Websense will be using its ThreatSeeker Cloud technology to run Facebook links through, identifying which ones lead to malicious sites.

The partnership will hopefully mean we won't see the number of malicious links go up to 20 per cent of status updates.

The overall aim is to prevent Facebook members from falling victim to phishing scams and malware.

Users will start to see warnings soon as Facebook is updating its servers this week. Anytime a user clicks on a link it will be checked by Websense for its safety. If unsafe, a box will appear warning the user.

Carl Leonard, senior manager of Websense Security Labs, said the company will be scanning hundreds of thousands of links a day, claiming around 10 per cent of URLs on status updates were malicious.

Leonard told IT Pro Facebook needed to partner with security companies like Websense as they start to cater to an ever-growing user base, one that needs protecting.

"As they scale they're now at around 800 million users having us apply our advanced technology really gives them the edge to protect users. It's our specialty to scan stuff like this," he said.

"It's a natural progression for Facebook to add these extra layers of security The partnership will hopefully mean we won't see the number of malicious links go up to 20 per cent of status updates."

Leonard was nevertheless "certain" the volume of threats on Facebook would continue to grow.

He was unable to go into the details of the agreement, so it remains unclear who gains a financial benefit from the deal.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.