Facebook bulks up defenses with a third anti-virus engine

Eset will join F-Secure and Trend Micro

Facebook is adding a third antivirus engine to its service to help catch malicious content in the News Feed and messages sent by users.

Technology from Eset, based in Slovakia, will be added to a security mix that already includes F-Secure and Trend Micro, which Facebook partnered with in May, wrote Chetan Gowda, a software engineer with the company's Site Integrity team.

Antivirus programs have varying degrees of effectiveness, depending on whether they have up-to-date detection signatures and if other behavior-based detection techniques can pick up mischief.

Facebook appears to be betting that the more AV engines it runs, the better.

" A larger number of providers increases the chances that malware will get caught and cleaned up, which will help people on Facebook keep their information more secure," Gowda wrote.

Facebook can detect on its servers if a device may be infected and warn users they should run an anti-malware scan, Gowda wrote. F-Secure and Trend Micro built free version of their products that integrate with Facebook's site.

"You can run the scan, see the scan results and disable the software all without logging out of Facebook -- making it seamless and easy to clean up an infected device," he wrote.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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