Facebook Accidentally Disabled Legit Apps While Going After Malicious Apps

Posted Aug 16, 2013

Facebook has accidentally disabled legitimate third-party apps that are integrated with the social network.  Earlier this week, several people complained that their Facebook developer accounts and apps were unavailable.  Facebook used automated systems to identify and disable malicious apps to protect their platform and users.  Facebook uses techniques to find malicious patterns and find the apps that match that pattern.  Then the apps would be disabled based on those patterns.

“This normally results in thousands of malicious apps being disabled and improves our automated systems? ability to detect similar attacks in the future,” stated Facebook employee Eugene Zarakhovsky.

When Facebook detected that the the technique matched many thousands of malicious apps with several high-quality apps, they started to restore access to the high-quality apps.  “The process took longer than expected because of the number of apps affected and bugs related to the restoration of app metadata,” added Zarakhovsky.

Facebook did not specify how many legitimate apps were affected.  Facebook did say that they will make improvements to their processes and technology to include tools that identify overly broad patterns and find better ways to verify all the apps matched are malicious.  Facebook will address the bottlenecks that made the recovery process slower than expected as well.

[Source: PCW]