Facebook has incorporated a feature that its users do not really want to see in action: a notification that will alert them if the company believes that suspected attackers working in the interest of a nation-state have gained unauthorized access to their accounts.
A blog post has been shared by Facebook on Oct. 16, saying the protection of its users accounts is more important than anything else, which is why it continuously monitors malevolent activities and provides a multitude of options to safeguard user accounts.
"While we have always taken steps to secure accounts that we believe to have been compromised, we decided to show this additional warning if we have a strong suspicion that an attack could be government-sponsored," says Alex Stamos, chief security officer at Facebook.
The company is sending the notification to affected users as it claims these attacks are more dangerous and advanced as compared to others,
"Please Secure Your Accounts Now. Jay, we believe your Facebook account and other online accounts may be the target of attacks from state-sponsored actors," reads the sample desktop notification users will receive if their accounts have been compromised.
It is worth noting that if users see this kind of notification, it does not indicate that Facebook's own system has been compromised. Rather, the warning may suggest that users' computer or smartphone houses malware that cybercriminals are using to gain illegal access into their accounts.
Facebook added it does not disclose how they attribute particular attacks to hackers to safeguard the integrity of its processes and methods. However, it does claim it only intends to use the notifications in circumstances where the proof strongly backs its conclusion.
If users get the notification, the company strongly suggests to take the matter seriously. It recommends rebuilding or replacing systems that have been infected by malware.
Additionally, turning on login approvals is a good practice to help keep other individuals from logging into other users' accounts. Whenever accounts are accessed via new browsers or devices, Facebook will send codes to users' phones.
Facebook hopes the notification will help security-minded individuals who want to protect their data, according to Stamos. In addition, it promises it will constantly enhance its capability to detect and prevent attacks against its users.