Microsoft mirrors rivals, pledges to warn customers of state-backed hacks … – Computerworld

Microsoft this week announced that it, too, would alert users when they are beset by state-sponsored cyber attacks, following the lead of Google, Facebook and, most recently, Yahoo.

“We will now notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an individual or group working on behalf of a nation state,” said Scott Charney, the Microsoft executive who runs the firm’s Trustworthy Computing group, in a post to a company blog Wednesday.

According to Reuters, Microsoft put the new policy in place after the news service asked for comment about former Microsoft employees’ claims that the company had not warned Hotmail users in years past of state-backed attacks that hijacked their accounts.

Reuters’ sources alleged that from 2009 on, more than a thousand Hotmail accounts, including those of leaders of China’s Tibetan and Uighur minorities, diplomats from Japan and unnamed African nations, and human rights lawyers, had been hacked by Chinese authorities. Microsoft confirmed to the news service that it had not told those Hotmail users that their information had been compromised.

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