In case you are wondering, notifications of targeted attacks are not a good thing. And no, you never, ever, want to receive one. But Facebook has got your back, and will send you one if your account is being targeted by a state-sponsored attack.
Facebook places a lot of importance on the safety of your account and all your personal data. That’s why the company constantly monitors the network for suspicious activity and will let you know if it suspects that something is not quite right. As of yesterday, Facebook will let you know if your account is a target of a state-sponsored attack so you can take relevant measures. The new warning is just one of the notifications that Facebook currently has in place.
Yes, there are many countries out there that love to keep tabs on you and would love it even more if they had access to your communication behind the Facebook password. Domestic spying is not just endemic in places you would usually consider. The US and UK routinely surveil communications.
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If you think that an antivirus is enough to keep malware away… think again. If you do see one of the new notifications you will probably need to get a new computer.
In any case, Facebook wants you to know that if you are infected, it is entirely your fault. It’s up to you to then sort it out as well. As Chief Security Officer of Facebook, Alex Stamos explains:
It’s important to understand that this warning is not related to any compromise of Facebook’s platform or systems, and that 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.
If you do receive such a notification, it won’t be for no reason. Have you ever received a notification of suspicious activity on your account? Have you made your account more secure by turning on Login Approvals in your account settings?