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December 31, 2015

Microsoft to Warn Outlook Users of State-Sponsored Hacking Attempts

Photo by Johannes Hemmerlein

Microsoft will now warn Outlook e-mail service users if it suspects their accounts have been targeted by state-sponsored hackers.

The move follows measures implemented earlier this year by Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Google has been doing so for some time as well.

Although the Richmond software king has offered alerts about such cyber-attacks for two years, it did not previously specify if the hacker was affiliated with a particular government.

“As the threat landscape has evolved our approach has too, and we’ll now go beyond notification and guidance to specify if we reasonably believe the attacker is ‘state-sponsored’,” Microsoft told Reuters.

Microsoft’s change in policy comes not long after it came to light that the company had neglected to tell Hotmail users it suspected Chinese authorities of hacking into more than 1,000 accounts back in 2011. International leaders of China’s Tibetan and Uighur minorities were, in particular, targeted in that particular incident.