Yahoo alerts victims of state-sponsored cyberattacks

Google, Twitter and Facebook already warn users of similar suspected attacks.

Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Yahoo is the latest tech company pledging to warn users if it appears they've been targeted in state-sponsored cyberattacks, Chief Information Security Officer Bob Lord announced today. Google, Facebook and Twitter rolled out similar alert systems earlier this year. Yahoo doesn't disclose how it determines if an attack is state-sponsored, but promises that it will only send alerts to users when it has "a high degree of confidence."

Yahoo's alerts include instructions for suspected cyberattack victims to secure their accounts, including establishing two-step verification, a strong and unique password, and checking mail-forwarding settings.

"It's important to note that if you receive one of these notifications, it does not necessarily mean that your account has been compromised," Lord writes. "Rather, we strongly suspect that you may have been a target of an attack, and want to encourage you to take steps to secure your online presence. In addition, these warnings to our users do not indicate that Yahoo's internal systems have been compromised in any way."

Facebook's warning system tipped off the United States State Department to a cyberattack from Iran in November.

[Image credit: Flickr/Thomas Hawk]