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Facebook Will Tell You Your Account Is Under State-Sponsored Attack

To protect the integrity of its methods and processes, Facebook says it won't be able to explain how it attributes "certain attacks to suspected attackers."  (Image: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
To protect the integrity of its methods and processes, Facebook says it won't be able to explain how it attributes "certain attacks to suspected attackers." (Image: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)

After three years of Google notifying users when it believed their accounts were at risk of a state-sponsored attack, Facebook has finally followed suit. In a public announcement, the social media giant said — if they suspect an account is being targeted by a government — they will notify the user when it believes the account is at risk.

When an account is believed to be either targeted or already compromised, Facebook will now send a pop up notification that warns the user about the incident and instructs them how to turn on the “Login Approvals” function — an additional security mechanism that better protects the Facebook account.

“It's important to understand that this warning is not related to any compromise of Facebook's platform or systems." (Image: Facebook/Screenshot)

It’s important to understand that this warning is not related to any compromise of Facebook’s platform or systems. (Image: Facebook/Screenshot)

After activating this feature, the user will be alerted when their account is accessed from a new device or web browser. When accessing from a new device or browser, Facebook will send a security code to your phone and only after you enter the code can you proceed to log in.

Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, said in a statement: “While we have always taken steps to secure accounts that we believe to have been compromised, we decided to show this additional warning — if we have a strong suspicion that an attack could be government sponsored.”

See how Facebook will tell you when a government hacks into your account:

“We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others, and we strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts,” Stamos said.

In the statement, Facebook added:

It’s important to understand that this warning is not related to any compromise of Facebook’s platform or systems.

“Having an account compromised in this manner may indicate that your computer or mobile device has been infected with malware.”

Facebook also advises that if you “see this message, [they] should take care to rebuild or replace these systems if possible.”

“To protect the integrity of our methods and processes, we often won’t be able to explain how we attribute certain attacks to suspected attackers,” Stamos said.

“That said, we plan to use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion.”

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