Facebook Now Warns Users When A Government Targets Them

skeleton_hackerFacebook announced a new feature late last week that will warn users when their profile has been hacked by an individual “suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state.”

“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,” wrote Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer. “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.”

Stamos also said Facebook would not disclose its methods for determining how a hack originated from a government, but he did say that the site would not issue a warning without good reason.

Though Facebook receives a lot of criticism for failing to protect user privacy, it has taken several steps recently to at least shield them from surveillance efforts (such as providing an encrypted version of the site on the dark web). Google began offering a similar warning to its users in 2012, so while Facebook may be a little late to the party, this kind of strong security is better late than never.