HTTPS & Captcha: Two New Facebook “Security” Features

28 01 2011

Less than 24 hours after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s account was hacked, Facebook announced the use of two (2) new security measures: wider use of HTTPS (secure hypertext transfer protocol), and the introduction of “social authentication” (better known as CAPTCHA).

The Social Feed reports that these announcements came from the Facebook page of Alex Rice, where he writes, “Starting today we’ll provide you with the ability to experience Facebook entirely over HTTPS. You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public Internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools. The option will exist as part of our advanced security features, which you can find in the ‘Account Security’ section of the Account Settings page.”

Beyond the use of secure hypertext transfer protocol, “social authentication” will be employed, where, instead of the use of illegible words to “authenticate” the use, Facebook will provide photos of one’s own Facebook friends.

Rice continues: “Instead of showing you a traditional captcha on Facebook, one of the ways we may help verify your identity is through social authentication. We will show you a few pictures of your friends and ask you to name the person in those photos. Hackers halfway across the world might know your password, but they don’t know who your friends are.”

Press and bloggers are having a high time connecting the news and Zuckerberg’s victimization, whether or not there is actually any connection. However, officially, Facebook has not released any statement regarding the hack.

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