Google and Facebook have decided to notify users of state sponsored attacks from now on in an official way. Factually speaking, Google is already into this activity from the past two years, but now has officially declared that it will notify its users, whose accounts are being spied and verified by government agencies for reasons.
Meanwhile, Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos announced the latest protection in a post on the site yesterday. “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”, Stamos wrote.
Stamos feels that invasion of user privacy has become a serious threat these days and if it is a government sponsored attack, then it could be more advanced and dangerous than others.
For this reason, Facebook has decided to notify its users, as soon as their account gets compromised by a foreign invasion, which might probably be a government attack.
This includes hack by NSA Prism-internet security surveillance in the name of National Security and also any foreign attack like the one devised by North Korea a few months ago.
Meanwhile, Facebook has also clarified that the alert system will not be just restricted to celebrity profiles and will also imply to common people. Facebook’s user notification will include from turning on Login Approvals (Facebook’s version of two-factor authentication) to avoid being compromised in the first place to replacing their computers altogether, in the event of a confirmed attack.
Stamos also clarified that Facebook will only use this warning “where the evidence strongly supports” a state-sponsored attack.
Basically, if you see the message pop-up as below, you have cause for serious concern.
Please secure your accounts now
Sam (name used for representational purpose) 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 you can log in. We recommend you also to take steps to secure the accounts you use on other services.
Google has applied this notification system to its Gmail and the latest Google+ social networking tools in January this year.
Yahoo has also decided to follow its peers and will notify on this issue by the end of this year.
More details will be updated shortly!