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Facebook Now Warns Targets of State-Sponsored Hackers

by Keith Wagstaff /

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Facebook will now warn people if they have been targeted by a state-sponsored hacker.

Why does it matter if a security breach is funded by a foreign government or done out of some kid's basement?

"We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others, and we strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts," Alex Stamos, the company's chief security officer, wrote on Facebook.

When their accounts are compromised by state-sponsored actors, Facebook users will now be prompted to turn on "Login Approvals." The feature requires the user to enter a special code whenever they are trying to log onto Facebook from an unrecognized device or browser.

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"My personal recommendation is that every Facebook user would be wise to enable Login Approvals, regardless of whether your communications are likely to be of interest to intelligence agencies," wrote noted security expert Graham Cluley on his blog.

Facebook usually doesn't name which kind of hacker is suspected of a breach, Stamos wrote, but is making an exception with state-sponsored actors "only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion."

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