What are "State-Sponsored Actors"? Facebook confusion ensues

Facebook is sending out warnings – as of this week – to users that may be the subject of hacking efforts by 3rd party systems. The message their receiving suggests that they "may be the target of attacks from state-sponsored actors." What in the world could that possibly mean? This message is actually super simple and should very well have been simplified further before reaching the public. State-sponsored actors are just hackers sponsored by the government. Not the United States government (not in this case), but potentially harmful nonetheless.

The word "actor" usually refers to a person in a movie or on a stage, acting a part in a production. In this case, an "actor" is simply a person who does something – a participant in whatever activity is at hand.

This morning Facebook made note of these state-sponsored attacks. They suggested that users will be notified if Facebook is aware that they have become "targeted or compromised" by an individual that is "suspected on working on behalf of a nation-state."

What can be done? What should I do?

You should change all of your passwords. As this warning doesn't necessarily limit itself to Facebook itself, you've likely got something negative going on in your computer or your smartphone.

According to Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, "Ideally, people who see this message should take care to rebuild or replace these systems if possible."

That just means that because your device has been compromised, you've probably got people intercepting your business. They very well may be reading your emails, so to speak. Therefor you should reset your device, reset your passwords, and if you're able, take some drastic actions.

Of course SlashGear is not responsible for any damage you may cause to your devices, yourself, or your family and friends. Use all necessary caution.