Facebook To Warn Users If Government Is Hacking Their Accounts

Having been able to take steps in the past to assure that Facebook users’ rights haven’t been compromised, now the social network site is taking a step further by notifying  users if a government entity is detected to be hacking or accessing their accounts without the their permission, reports said.

The social media giant has announced, through Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos, in a blog post that it will alert users whenever it has reason to believe their accounts have been targeted by government-led cyber-attacks, as reported by the Daily Mail.

According to Stamos “having an account compromised in this manner may indicate that your computer or mobile device has been infected with malware. Ideally, people who see this message should take care to rebuild or replace these systems if possible.”

In the announcement, Stamos included an image of what the notification will look like on the desktop version of Facebook.

The example message read: “Jay, we believe your Facebook account and your other online accounts may be the target of attacks from state-sponsored actors.

“Turning on Login Approvals will help keep others from logging into your Facebook account.

“Whenever your account is accessed from a new device or browser, we’ll send a security code to your phone so that only you can log in.

“We recommend you also take steps to secure the accounts you use on other services.”

Furthermore, Stamos noted that attacks from governments “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.”

Stamos also pointed out that the receipt of the warning should not be taken as evidence that the entire Facebook platform and system have been compromised.

However, to protect the integrity of Facebook’s methods and its own security processes, Stamos did not explain how it can determine whether an attack is “government-sponsored” but it also said that the warning will only be used in situations in which “the evidence strongly supports our conclusion.”

According to the Mail, Facebook annually publishes a Transparency Report to keep its users’ details safe from governments. The report details the number of times governments have requested the site for information about certain users and how many times the site have released these information.

Each request is checked for legal sufficiency and it said it rejects or “requires greater specificity” on requests that are too broad or vague.

Source: http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/30531/20151021/facebook-government-hack.htm

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