How Facebook’s red team is pushing boundaries to keep data safe

Facebook has revealed some of the red team security techniques it employs to prevent hackers from gaining access to its systems. The social media giant has a 10-person red team – security experts who try to think like the hackers who want to infiltrate its networks – with the goal of allowing Facebook to anticipate actual attackers’ strategies and better defend its data. By testing networks with real-world techniques and tactics, the red team can provide the company with a more accurate picture of its cybersecurity – and point it in the right direction.Facebook red team facebookhay.

Amanda Rousseau, a Facebook offensive research engineer who was previously a malware researcher and a computer forensic examiner, detailed how Facebook’s red teaming works – and the challenges it entails – at the Black Hat Europe 2019 cybersecurity conference in London. “We often refer to the adversarial mindset. It’s what I call “thinking outside the box” activity “She stated. “We’re challenging assumptions; we’re challenging what exists in the space that we’re working in – and we’re doing it freely, thinking outside the box, and coming up with all kinds of ideas to solve a specific problem.” Look red team facebookhaynewmanwired.

While there is no such thing as a typical day for the Facebook red team due to the nature of the job, it will typically be working on testing or improving the security of products, networks, and possibly even buildings. Because of the offensive nature of the role, members of the team examine the most recent forms of malware and attempt to emulate them in order to see if Facebook can protect against that specific attack. For example, when cryptocurrency-mining malware attacks suddenly increased, the red team decided to investigate Facebook’s readiness to defend against cyber criminals who wanted to infect their servers and exploit the vast amounts of processing power to generate Bitcoin.

“We take our cues from where we see trends developing. For example, we’ve been hearing stories about how people’s browsers are being compromised by botnets in order to mine cryptocurrency “Rousseau stated. “But what if we wanted to take this a step further and abuse Facebook’s CPU power? That was us taking it to the next level. We must conduct research to determine what is plausible and likely to occur – which can be difficult “She elaborated. “A lot of it is about how far we can push the boundaries: and when we discover we can push them super far, that’s super-interesting,” Rousseau said.

The goal of these attacks is to help improve Facebook’s security, and when the blue team is unable to detect the red team, they embrace learning about the new operations rather than being combative about not discovering the red team’s actions. “It ultimately benefits them. It’s amazing how much the blue team loves us when we do operations – they can’t believe what we come up with, but they change the way they do detections. That makes me feel really good about how I’m contributing to change with the things they’re doing “According to Rousseau. “Technology is changing exponentially faster – that’s what’s making it harder for us because it’s constantly moving the goalposts,” Rousseau explained.

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