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Facebook to start issuing warnings of nation-state hacks to users accounts


By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

October 19, 2015 | 3 min read

Facebook will start issuing high alert warnings to users when it detects that an account has been hacked by a nation-state.

Facebook to warn users of nation-state hacks

Facebook to warn users of nation-state hacks

The notification will warn users when there is a “strong suspicion” that an account has been compromised by a nation-state. If Facebook suspects that a person’s account has been hacked it will issue the user with a message asking that them to “Please Secure You Accounts Now”.

While resetting a password is the common fix issued after a user’s account has been hacked, Facebook will take more drastic measures when an account has been compromised by a nation state. Users will be instructed to "rebuild or replace" their mobile phone or computer system.

The warnings will state that “we believe your Facebook account and your other online accounts may be the target of attacks from state-sponsored actors”. In order to secure the account a feature called Login Approvals must be turned on which will then send a one-time confirmation text to the account's registered mobile phone whenever a login is made from a new device or browser.

Facebook maintains that its own servers are secure and that the measures have been introduced as a means to alert users of their own system being compromised.

In a statement for the introduction of the feature Facebook said it plans to “use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion”.

The new feature has been designed to "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."

Cyber-attacks sponsored by a nation-state have become increasing common in recent years. One of the most high-profile state-sponsored cyber-attacks occurred last year when North Korea was accused of attacking Sony Entertainment following the release of a comedy film based on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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