• 10.19.15

Facebook Will Start Notifying You Of Targeted Government-Sponsored Attacks

If your account has been compromised by a state-sanctioned attack, Facebook will alert you with this new notification.

Facebook Will Start Notifying You Of Targeted Government-Sponsored Attacks
[Photo: Christian Bertrand via Shutterstock]

Facebook announced in a post late Friday that it will start notifying users if it believes their account has been targeted or compromised by a government attack.


The social media network has always alerted its users when their account appears compromised, but says that it is adding this additional warning because state-sponsored attacks “tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others.”

The announcement, posted by Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos, also says that the company generally won’t be able to provide insight on how it has discovered the attacks, or why it suspects a government is behind it, in order to “protect the integrity of our methods and processes.”

Facebook is the second major tech company to adopt such a policy. Google announced a similar notification system for suspected state-sponsored attacks back in 2012. This is also the second step that Facebook has taken toward improving user security this year: Back in May, the company started testing a security checkup feature that asks users simple questions, such as whether they’d shared their password with anyone or accessed their account elsewhere and forgot to log out.

Of course, the average user is unlikely to find himself the victim of a state-sponsored attack—individuals are more likely to get hit with malware than be the recipient of a personal, targeted attack. So chances are, you’re unlikely to be at the receiving end of Facebook’s newest notification.

Related: Stop Falling For Facebook Privacy Hoaxes!

About the author

Kim Lightbody is an editorial assistant at Fast Company, where she does all sorts of editorial-related things for both print and web.