Security outfit Avast Software
has partnered with Facebook
to share its Virus Lab data with the social networking service. In doing so, Facebook now has access to Avast's real-time cloud database, which it will use to block malware from being shared unwittingly by its users. When you click on a link within Facebook, the URL checked in the cloud to determine whether its safe or infected, and if it's found to be compromised, a warning message will appear.
"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our users and their data. Beginning today, Facebook will be able to leverage Avast's feed of malicious URLs to augment our existing site integrity systems and those in our community will be able to download Avast's software to better protect themselves and their devices. We look forward to working with Avast to provide an even more secure experience for those who use our service," said Joe Sullivan, CSO of Facebook.
According to Avast, half of the world's Internet population logs into Facebook each and every month, and with a network of over a billion users, it's an enticing target to the Web's seedier characters. By allowing Facebook to check URLs against its database in the cloud, Avast thinks it can make the social playground a safer place to roam.
"We’ve seen that the most prominent way of spreading malware now is through links to infected websites, rather than the traditional method of emailing infected files," said Avast Software CEO Vince Steckler. "Our Virus Lab has tracked about 2 million infected websites just in the last 12 months and the best way to stop these infections is to prevent links to them being shared."
Link checking will take place in the background and presumably won't disrupt the Facebook experience.