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State-Sponsored Attacks - The Facebook Notification You Never Want to Get

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If there's a risk that your Facebook account is being hacked, phished, or otherwise interfered with, Facebook are pretty good at warning you and the account recovery process tends to be reasonably straight-forward. What you won't know is exactly what the hacker in question wanted with your account in the first place, it could have been identity theft, an attempt to lift personal details or good old fashioned revenge. Now, disturbingly, security head Alex Stamos (pictured above) has introduced one addendum - you'll know if you came under a state-sponsored attack.

State-sponsored attacks are hacks that are being done on behalf of a particular state or nation. China, North Korea and Russia have all had the finger pointed at them for doing this in the past, both on Facebook and elsewhere. Representatives from the accused nations always argue the case, and it's hard to say exactly how many of the accusations are accurate, but there can be little doubt that at least some contingent of them have been legit.

Still, introducing a warning system suggests that the Facebook security team are capable of identifying when an attack is state-sponsored, beyond any speculation. The claim is that they're doing this because government sponsored cyber attacks tend to be more sophisticated, so further precaution is needed, but it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that they're also exhibiting this transparency to make it clear just how often these attacks actually happen, increasing distrust in the culpable nations. That's probably also why Facebook are keeping this technology away from the US government. They want to be regarded as a global corporation, not an American one.

If you do get this nefarious little notification, you are merely asked to change your password and upgrade to a two-step security measure, if you haven't already. That kind of thing is small comfort when you're being told that your Facebook is literally being attacked by a country, but something tells me it's not going to be an overly large subset of users seeing these messages, and those that do will probably have at least some idea why.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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State-Sponsored Attacks - The Facebook Notification You Never Want to Get Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 Rating: 5

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