How Facebook Social Authentication Works?

In this chapter of my Facebook Security Series, we are going to look into the Facebook Social Authentication feature. This feature is going to enhance the authentication during the log in process as part of your friends is going to be picked by Facebook as part of the item to authenticate you.

Previously, Facebook uses the Captcha technology to beat off automated spam bots. The good thing about the Captcha technology is that it can really beat off automated spam bots. However, the level of difficulty to break this security is way too simple and should not be used in any verification. Furthermore, it might at times generate an extremely difficult to type Captcha such as the one I posted on the Security Joke of the Day.


Credit: Facebook

So what is Facebook Social Authentication?

Simple. The term Social Authentication means that Facebook will use some of your friend’s picture as the question and provide you few names of your friends for you to identify the person. This means that you need to be able to recognize your friend’s name by the photo to get authenticated. An example of the screenshot is as below where I grabbed it from the Facebook blog.

Social Authentication

Credit: Facebook

This feature seems cool but some of my readers had already express some of the weakness from my previous post. Most of them mentioned that not every of their friends uses real photo in their Facebook profile. So if I happen to use Optimus Prime of Transformers as my picture all the time, then my friend will need to have the capability to tell that particular Optimus Prime picture belongs to me.

It sounds like some nonsense to me but I will still go for Social Authentication over Captcha. So what do you guys think? Social Authentication or Captcha?

Chapter 1ย | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5

Featured Image Credit:ย Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot (Image link)

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Related posts:

  1. Security Joke of the Day
  2. How to Enable HTTPS for Facebook Security
  3. 4 Things to Ensure Your Facebook Security in Authentication
About Alan Tay

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  1. Peter Lee says:

    Captcha is designed to tackle automated bots, it won’t work on stopping a human hacker because s/he could well read a standard Captcha as well as anybody could.

    On Social Authentication, if the problem with Optimus Prime can be solved, then no doubt it will be a better and much efficient security feature ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Alan Tay says:

      I think you agree that social authentication will give a better security. I don’t think the Optimus Prime issue can be fixed, do you? I guess what Facebook is trying to do here is not to recognize your friend, but to recognize what photo your friend is using. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Peter Lee says:

        Yes Alan, I agree that social authentication is a better security feature than Captcha.

        Regarding the Optimus Prime issue, it’s very unlikely to be solved, it would be too complicated right? Guess I need to warn my FB friends that they will have to use their own photos just in case ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mika Castro says:

    It is a great wayto use authentication. I believe that this is for privacy and not to be hacked by other users.

  3. Nikki says:

    With regards to the optimus prime photo, maybe facebook can choose some real photos right? not just the profile pictures. It can detect some faces when we upload photos and help us tag our friends easily. Maybe it can do the same in social authentication. I know there can still be glitches in this idea but I think this can be a possible feature. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Alan Tay says:

      Seems like Optimus Prime has become the topic of this post. However, you might be true as I think Facebook should be smart enough to do that. However, have you come across any so far?

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