Home Cyber Security News Facebook Launches Pysa – Instagram Security Tool – As Open Source

Facebook Launches Pysa – Instagram Security Tool – As Open Source

by Abeerah Hashim

Facebook has recently released Pysa as open source after its success with Instagram security. The tool specifically aims at security teams facilitating bug fixes.

Facebook Open Source Pysa Tool

Facebook released its internally-developed Pysa security tool.

Based on the open-source code of Pyre project, Facebook designed Pysa as a static code analyzer. The tool specifically looks for security bugs, unlike most other analyzers.

Facebook decided to opensource the tool after witnessing its success in security Instagram. The tech giant’s internal team used the tool for identifying various bugs. Sharing the details of the tool in a post, Facebook stated,

Pysa helps us detect a wide range of issues. For example, we use it to check whether our Python code properly makes use of certain internal frameworks, which are designed to prevent access to, or disclosure of, user data based on technical privacy policies. Pysa also detects common web app security issues, like XSS and SQL injection. Like Zoncolan has done for Hack code, Pysa has helped us scale our application security efforts for Python, most notably the codebase that powers Instagram’s servers.

Regarding its working, Facebook revealed that it works similar to Zoncolan – another Facebook tool.

It tracks the flow of data through a program. Eventually, the tool assists in analyzing huge codebases with millions of lines of codes.

In brief, it builds summaries by repeatedly analyzing the functions and noting whether the return data comes from source (point of origin of important data) or the sink (points where source data should not end). In the latter case, the tool reports the issue.

Pysa Available On GitHub

The tool Pysa is now available on GitHub for all. Facebook has shared many definitions with the tool letting it work for any Python code.

Presently, the tool will work from the first run for projects based on Django and Tornado frameworks, because these are what Facebook uses itself.

Nonetheless, users can also modify the code a bit to make it work for other frameworks as well.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

You may also like

Latest Hacking News

Privacy Preference Center


The __cfduid cookie is used to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.

cookie_notice_accepted and gdpr[allowed_cookies] are used to identify the choices made from the user regarding cookie consent.

For example, if a visitor is in a coffee shop where there may be several infected machines, but the specific visitor's machine is trusted (for example, because they completed a challenge within your Challenge Passage period), the cookie allows Cloudflare to identify that client and not challenge them again. It does not correspond to any user ID in your web application, and does not store any personally identifiable information.

__cfduid, cookie_notice_accepted, gdpr[allowed_cookies]


DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform which is a separate division within Google. This is Google’s most advanced advertising tools set, which includes five interconnected platform components.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager: the ad-serving platform, called an Ad Server, that delivers ads to your customers and measures all online advertising, even across screens and channels.

DoubleClick Bid Manager – the programmatic bidding platform for bidding on high-quality ad inventory from more than 47 ad marketplaces including Google Display Network.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange: the world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and even Facebook inventory.

DoubleClick Search: is more powerful than AdWords and used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

DoubleClick Creative Solutions: for designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.



The _ga is asssociated with Google Universal Analytics - which is a significant update to Google's more commonly used analytics service. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.

The _gat global object is used to create and retrieve tracker objects, from which all other methods are invoked. Therefore the methods in this list should be run only off a tracker object created using the _gat global variable. All other methods should be called using the _gaq global object for asynchronous tracking.

_gid works as a user navigates between web pages, they can use the gtag.js tagging library to record information about the page the user has seen (for example, the page's URL) in Google Analytics. The gtag.js tagging library uses HTTP Cookies to "remember" the user's previous interactions with the web pages.

_ga, _gat, _gid