As much as countries, governments and their intelligence agencies put huge counter measures and monetary backing into protecting their digital assets, it often only takes one individual slipping up to a phishing or social engineering scam to make an entire system vulnerable. That is especially easy today where there are many sites and services that almost everyone uses. To mitigate its part in that weak point, Facebook is now informing users if it believes they’ve been targeted by state sponsored actors.
While Facebook said in its blog post that it atempts to protect all accounts from nefarious actions, it wanted to take this extra step with government sponsored hackers since they can be particularly “advanced and dangerous.” As part of the message sent out to anyone potentially affected, Facebook encourages users to turn on login-approvals, which means every new device attempting to login to your account requires an authentication code send to your phone.
Although attempting here to be transparent about its process, Facebook stops short of explaining what factors it considers indicators of an account being taken over by a state sponsored hacker, though it does clarify that it will only send it out when it has a strong indication that that is what has happened.
“We hope that these warnings will assist those people in need of protection, and we will continue to improve our ability to prevent and detect attacks of all kinds against people on Facebook,” said Facebook CSO Alex Stamos.
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KitGuru Says: This seems like a pretty good measure, though I’d also like to see Facebook informing users when it has sent out their personal information to governments.