back to article Facebook appoints self world police, promises state attack warnings

Facebook has decided it will warn its data-generating, ad-clicking sheeple members when it thinks they are under attack by “state-sponsored actors”. In a post published on Saturday The Social Network TM's chief security officer (CSO) Alex Stamos says the step is necessary “because these types of attacks tend to be more …

  1. Grikath
    Black Helicopters

    well that would be..

    uh-oh....

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: well that would be..

      Facebook. With 1.49 billion monthly active users I'd call that a nation. I'm not a member, but I keep finding them having infiltrated my cookie folder and generally getting in my face. That's an attack, so I guess I'd have to report them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: well that would be..

        You're lucky. As a web dev, I'm sometimes required to add those loathsome FB scriptlets to sites. Have to take a shower after...

        1. Your alien overlord - fear me

          Re: well that would be..

          I recommend self flagullation with a Cat 6 cable (as opposed a Cat o'nine cable).

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: well that would be... Subtitle: The rise of the Corporate Nation?

        Who do we report them to? Themselves? Google? Some other corporate who thinks it's a government? I ask because I realize our (US) government and most others in the world won't lift a finger.

        Hmm... I'm already under attack by Microsoft to install some malware called Windows 10. Maybe I can report MS to FB?

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: well that would be..

      I'm sure it's just another way for FB to try and get my phone number

      1. BlartVersenwaldIII

        Re: well that would be..

        I'm sure it's just another way for FB to try and get my phone number

        I suspect at least one person in your circle of friends will have granted facebook access to their mobile's contact list so chances are they already know JetSetJim's phone number and are just looking for JetSetJim to confirm it. Ditto for every other app/service that wants access to contact lists.

        1. phil dude
          Thumb Up

          Re: well that would be..

          yes, so when Android-M (Marshmallow) gets released, we can deny all those sodding apps that don't need your information from not seeing it.

          Yours *unrooted* user of Android 5.1

          P.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm so boring

    I dream of the interest from a state sponsored attacker...

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Under attack from a state-sponsored attacker

    So if it's just a regular attacker Facebook will leave you to be hacked ? How nice.

  4. Pseu Donyme

    Maybe I'm too cynical ...

    ... but I can't help thinking this is just a ploy to push authentication by cellphone as a necessity to get users' real cellphone numbers for their purposes (such as use as globally unique identifiers for combining information from different sources and to be sold off down the line as such or as a part of a user profile to marketers or anyone willing to pay).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe I'm too cynical ...

      Correct. You are the information being sold. The more of you they have, the more valuable you are to them.

      The is no altruism in US business.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Maybe I'm too cynical ...

      Exactly. Many moons ago they pestered me to add a p[hone number "for security" as if I gave a monkey's crap about what FB contained. The more info they have on you all the better to whore you from advertiser to TLA to advertiser.

      1. GregC

        Re: Maybe I'm too cynical ...

        In this day and age I'm not sure it's possible to be too cynical...

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Maybe I'm too cynical ...

          "In this day and age I'm not sure it's possible to be too cynical..."

          And people that would have been called paranoid ten years ago now come off as a bit naive.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Maybe I'm too cynical ...

        Once upon a time, when companies asked for a SSN, you could give Richard Nixon's as it was published. I guess we could start giving places like FB, the number of the White House. Or maybe the NSA?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe I'm too cynical ...

          > Once upon a time, when companies asked for a SSN, you could give Richard Nixon's as it was published. I guess we could start giving places like FB, the number of the White House. Or maybe the NSA?

          Why not given them their own number? They won't know it when they see it - they're very careful not to give it out, even though they want yours.

          There's one on their WHOIS record.

    3. Chris King

      Re: Maybe I'm too cynical ...

      This is probably another attempt to scare The Product (i.e. YOU) into handing over more data and behaving the way they want you to behave.

      It's a bit like the warnings they used to put up on links to ad-blockers - they would ask you if you were really sure you wanted to do this, because they thought the link might be "dangerous or spamy".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would this matter?

    FB is public data, no? So why would someone need to hack them?

    Sorry, not a FB user, so maybe I've messed something. For the moment this sound more like the sort of grandstanding required to distract people from the fact that they just lost a major privacy lawsuit, but that's just me.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Dumb fucks

    “To protect the integrity of our methods and processes, we often won't be able to explain how we attribute certain attacks to suspected attackers.” The CSO also said “we plan to use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion.”

    Those words could have been lifted directly from the propaganda handbooks of most western governments.

    Slapping "state actor" on a security report just encourages xenophobia and really only hides their own weaknesses (after all, it can be excused if a whole nation state was behind the breach, can't it?).

    Do they really want to get into stirring up up to 1 billion people just to save face?

  7. msknight Silver badge

    "China's recently made it abundantly clear that it is not at all happy at being fingered for attacks."

    Excuse me but ... Bwaaahahahahaaaaa....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are so many to choose from I wouldn't know where to start

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_actors_who_played_President_of_the_United_States#Films_2

    or am I misunderstandings state sponsored?

  9. M7S
    Coat

    Spies Like Us!

    A tenuous link to the article but the chance to quote from that film

    Keyes: By your actions, sir, you are risking the future of the human race!

    General Sline: To guarantee the American way of life, I'm willing to take that risk.

  10. Big_Ted

    Soooooo

    This means Facebook will be classed as spam as they will be sending out daily warnings about the NSA, GCHQ, China etc etc, Glad I'm not on facebook as I dont need loads of warnings . . .

    Oh and why do they want to advertise just how insecure their network is in this way ?

  11. David Roberts Silver badge

    State sponsored?

    Does that mean on Income Support?

  12. sysconfig

    Just another trick...

    to get more email addresses and -more importantly- phone numbers connected to your account.

    Clever to go down the scaremongering route. People will fall for it, and Facebook gets even more details out of their users.

    It's not only Facebook though. Google keeps suggesting to link a phone to their accounts, and so do many others, albeit less dramatically - for now.

  13. Big_Ted
    Devil

    BUT WONT SOMEONE

    THINK OF THE CHILDREN . . . . .

    Evil foreigners probing us . . . . .

    Help.

  14. VinceH
    Black Helicopters

    "If you are reading this dialog, a government really is out to get you"

    Or Facebook have noticed that they don't have your phone number on file.

    Who? Me? Cynical? Never!

  15. LiarLiarLiar
    Thumb Down

    “state-sponsored actors”.

    if it is “state-sponsored actors”., won't they have control of your phone via the mobile phone company too. facebook just wants your mobile phone number

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Way to helpfully flag the dissidents, Facebook

    I'm sure that repressive regimes won't be at all suspicious of their citizens who have turned on this login authentication feature that is (supposedly*) designed to keep your government out of your Facebook account.

    * I agree with those who say this is merely a ploy for Facebook to get your phone number. A friend of mine got married recently and changed her name, which Facebook allowed no problem, but wanted the change the URL Facebook "helpfully" provides you with as well. Turns out you need to give your phone number to them to do this for some reason....she decided it didn't matter that her URL had her maiden name after all.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who protects us from Facebook?

    Microsoft?

    Google?

    Our own government?

    ... not so much.

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