How do Google and Facebook keep their source code secure?

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(6.4k points) · opinion . · selected
Pretty much nothing physically stops you from copying and pasting the code, and sending it to yourself.
The legal & career repercussions for doing this would be severe.
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
Also, most of the code isn't really that cool on its own. It's not like you can just copy paste FB's code and have Facebook.
You need all of the data that the algorithms use, infrastructure, and much more.
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
And as others said, some of the security measures are more locked down, and a lot of the employees (including many engineers) never need to interact with them (i.e. encryption).
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
Also, you only code on FB's codebase on your work computer. There's pretty much no reason for the code to ever leave your work computer - so code doesn't really just "leak" over time.
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
If you searched hard, you probably could find snippets of FB code on Stackoverflow when employees ask questions.
But after the first few weeks on the job, any engineer would realize they should anonymize the
code.
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
I think I might have pasted 1 or 2 raw snippets of PHP on the first few days I was learning code at FB, and actually got some people to reply on StackOverflow saying "what the hell kind of PHP is that"... turns out I was pasting snippets of "Hack", our at the time very secret language.
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
Honestly people have overblown ideas about the value of source code, and how useful stolen source code is.
If you had Google's source code it wouldn't guarantee you to make your own Google search engine.  You also need the servers, network infrastructure, and engineers.
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
It would require a large group of programmers years get a stolen Google Search Engine working correctly, and even more effort to hide the traces of that you'd swiped it.
It would be smarter to hire a few experienced Google engineers help you to write a new search engine.
–1 vote

Comments

(6.4k points) · commented .
In the case of Google the source code would be very valuable to the blackhat SOE community for understanding the algorithm.  So that they could game the system, not replicate it.  Although I'm not aware of anyone who would care about Facebook's code.
(6.4k points) · commented .
Uhh oh I don’t know, I think facebook advertising is a big thing, too! Could be quite interesting for some social media managers to run ads below market price.
(6.4k points) · opinion .
In the case of Google the source code would be very valuable to the blackhat SOE community for understanding the algorithm.  So that they could game the system, not replicate it.  Although I'm not aware of anyone who would care about Facebook's code.
–1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
Uhh oh I don’t know, I think facebook advertising is a big thing, too! Could be quite interesting for some social media managers to run ads below market price.
+1 vote
(6.4k points) · opinion .
And viral content. If you found a loophole in what used to be called edgerank, you could get those visitors without writing Facebook the big cheques.
0 votes
(6.4k points) · opinion .
The real value is in the data and it would be surprising to find a bit of source code that shows you how to make money.
0 votes