Facebook Accidently Disables Legitimate Apps While Shutting Down Malicious Ones
By Sam Lehman | Aug 16, 2013 05:02 AM EDT
Facebook addressed the accidental shut down of legitimate apps while identifying and disabling malicious apps on its website and apologized for the inconvenience assuring no repeats of such errors in future.
Facebook Inc., world's largest social networking site, explained the reason why some "high quality apps" were unavailable Tuesday, August 13. Facebook uses a special program that identifies and disables malicious apps from entering the site and threatening users' safety. But the traditional security check disabled access to some popular apps.
Facebook has designed an automated process that identifies a malicious pattern to differentiate legitimate and fake apps. The technique disables the malicious ones to protect its platform and users.
"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.
On Tuesday, Facebook launched a broad pattern verification check that matched several malicious apps but also included some high-quality apps. Although the error was identified and stopped immediately, it resulted in the unavailability of several legitimate apps.
"We understand that incidents like these are disruptive to your businesses, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience," Facebook said in the company's blog. "Our team is invested in learning from these incidents and making sure Facebook Platform stability continues to improve."
Facebook said that due to the "number of apps affected and bugs related to the restoration of app metadata," the restoration of those legitimate apps took longer than expected.
After learning that the error caused major trouble for its members, Facebook now plans to improve its technology and the way it identifies and disables malicious apps. The California-based company said that it would use better tools and broad patterns to verify the malicious apps and fix the bugs and bottlenecks that resulted in a slow recovery of the apps.
In 2011, Facebook had shut down several apps including some popular ones to put in place a "new enforcement system."