Worried that your Facebook account may be targeted by government funded spies? Well, Facebook has you covered. The social media network has announced that it will begin notifying users if it suspects that their accounts are being targeted by government sponsored hackers.
Facebook will soon be posting notifications to people that may have been targeted by these hackers, and ask them to turn on Login Approvals to better secure their accounts. Not many people should be seeing these notices, but the company has provided an example so that people who do receive them are aware that the problem is legitimate.
Nobody is sure how Facebook is aware that the cyber-attacks are originated from state-sponsored hackers and the company is not revealing how it knows. That being said, the announcement does not actually claim that Facebook knows for certain that the attempts to access user accounts are from government agencies, but instead says that if will send the notification if it has “a strong suspicion that an attack could be government-sponsored.”
Facebook is not the only company to be offering warnings against state-sponsored attacks; Google started offering the same warnings back in 2012. Most people would not be aware of the existence of these warnings since government sponsored attackers do not usually target individual users.
While the move is a nice gesture from Facebook, there is little danger of state-sponsored attackers going after social media accounts. Most are capable of more sophisticated forms of online surveillance against individuals, and Facebook is unlikely to be high on their list of targets. Still, the notification should be taken seriously if it appears.