×

Facebook security chief, in leaked audio, suggests Facebook should boost cyber defenses

  • Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos said in a leaked audio tape that the company's cyber defense operations could be run more like a defense contractor.
  • "We have the threat profile of a…defense contractor, but we run our corporate networks…like a college campus, almost," Stamos says in the audio, obtained by ZDNet.
  • Stamos then went on Twitter to explain his remarks, calling his "college campus" reference "a figure of speech"
Alex Stamos
Brendan Moran | Getty Images
Alex Stamos

Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos says in a leaked audio recording that the company's cyber defense operations are run "like a college campus, almost" to satisfy the company's internal culture of freedom to experiment, even though Facebook faces the same kinds of highly sophisticated attacks as a defense contractor.

"The threats that we are facing have increased significantly and the quality of the adversaries that we are facing…Both technically and from a cultural perspective I don't feel like we have caught up with our responsibility," Stamos says in the recording, which was made in July and obtained by the tech news site ZDNet.

"We have the threat profile of a…defense contractor, but we run our corporate networks…like a college campus, almost," he says.

Stamos, formerly the chief security officer of Yahoo, then went on Twitter to explain his coments.

"The college campus wording is just a figure of speech to make a point," Stamos posted.

The Facebook executive then went on:

"Tech companies are famous for providing freedom for engineers to customize their environments & experiment with new tools…allowing for this freedom helps creativity and productivity.

"We have to weigh that against the fact that we have become a potential target of advanced threat actors.

"As a result, we can't architect our security the same way a defense contractor can, with limited computing options and no freedom.

"Keeping the company secure while allowing the culture to blossom is a challenge, but a motivating one," Stamos wrote.