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Social network to warn users if they are targets of state-sponsored attacks

If Facebook believes a user’s account has either been targeted or already compromised by any attacker working on behalf of a nation-state, the network will pop a notification warning said users of the incident

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A few years after Google implemented a similar feature for Gmail users, Facebook has announced that it will begin alerting users if it suspects that they are targets of state-sponsored attacks.

This means that if Facebook believes a user’s account has either been targeted or already compromised by any attacker working on behalf of a nation-state, the network will pop a notification warning said users of the incident and instructing them to turn an additional security mechanism called “Login Approvals” that better protects their Facebook account.

Login Approvals will help users prevent others from logging in to their account. Once the feature is activated, which works like a two-step authentication system, users are alerted when their Facebook account is accessed from a new device or browser.

When this happens, Facebook will send a security code to your phone to ensure that only you – based on the assumption that you’re the phone’s owner – will be able to enter the code and proceed to log in.

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Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer while explaining the new warning message, states that the company has always taken steps to secure accounts it suspects to have been compromised, but has not decided that it is best to show said warning when it believes an attack t be state-sponsored.

“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,” says Stamos.

Facebook recently rolled out a Security Checkup tool, which also offers login alerts when a user’s account is accessed from a new device or browser. The tool also helps users log out of unused browsers and apps, too.

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