Years after Google had implemented a feature that is similar for users of Gmail, Facebook said it would start alerting its users if it suspects they might be a target of attacks that are state-sponsored.
That is if Facebook believes the user’s account is targeted or is already compromised by a hacker working on behalf of a state or nation.
Facebook will send a pop-up notification to the user that warns them of what is taking place and instructing them to turn on their Login Approvals, which is an additional mechanism for security that protects their account on Facebook better.
With the Login Approvals, the user can help to prevent others from logging into the account. After the feature is activated, which works as a two-factor authentication system, the user is alerted when their account on Facebook is accessed from another device or a new web browser.
When that occurs, Facebook sends the user’s phone a security code so only the phone’s owner will be able to enter said code and to proceed to login into the account.
Ideally, the extra protection layer is something all users of Facebook should have already turned to, but many are unaware of its existence, or they do not want the hassle of going through the extra step when logging in from a device that is new.
Facebook has not disclosed how it has determined if an attack is state sponsored against an account versus another form of attack, but it said that it would only show the message when evidence exists making it strongly support its conclusions
In other words, if the message is sent to you, it will mean the likelihood is you will have to secure more than just your account with Facebook, as your computer might be infected with malware, which allows an attacker a means to enter in the first place.
It is advised by Facebook that those who see this new message warning the user also take the necessary steps of rebuilding or replacing their systems.
While the system was implemented by Google for the detection and the warning about attacks that are state sponsored in 2012, it does not surprise many that Facebook is doing so now.
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