Microsoft to warn users about 'nation-state' intrusion

January 1, 2016
Online users with certain Microsoft accounts will get a notice "if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised
Online users with certain Microsoft accounts will get a notice "if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an individual or group working on behalf of a nation state," a company executive said in a blog post on December 30, 2015

Microsoft has joined other online companies with a new policy alerting users if their accounts are being targeted by governments.

"A key part of our work is identifying and preventing unauthorized access to your Microsoft (including Outlook.com email and OneDrive) by anyone other than you," Microsoft vice president Scott Charney said in a blog post Wednesday.

"We're taking an additional step today. 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."

Microsoft said it already notifies users if accounts have been targeted or compromised by a third party but is taking the additional step of letting people know if it is likely that the attacker may be "state-sponsored" because "it is likely that the attack could be more sophisticated or more sustained than attacks from cybercriminals and others," Charney said.

"If you receive one of these notifications it doesn't necessarily mean that your account has been compromised, but it does mean we have evidence your account has been targeted, and it's very important you take additional measures to keep your account secure," he added.

Twitter and Facebook announced similar measures earlier this year and Google implemented such warnings in 2012.

Explore further: Outages hit some users of Microsoft's Outlook.com

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13 comments

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lmlisak
5 / 5 (1) Jan 01, 2016
Interesting that Microsoft wants us to take the measures to keep our account secure, when they cannot keep their own software secure... what a bunch of "You know what"!

antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2016
"We're taking an additional step today. 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."

..except the US, of course. Being US based they are subject to US law which can forbid them to notify anone being spied on by US agencies.
...same goes for Twitter and Google.

Which means by extension that they can forbid Microsoft et al. to notify anyone if they are being spied on by an 'ally' (British, new Zealand, Australian).

So in the end such a notification isn't worth much.
AstroDwarf
5 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2016
Anyone else spot the lack of an irony flag here?
daqddyo
not rated yet Jan 02, 2016
By what means are they going to inform us of these spying activities? By email, by telephone? (I already get phone calls from foreign sounding people claiming to be from Microsoft, Windows, etc warning me of invasions).
How can anyone know about such invasions unless they themselves have already penetrated either my server or my computer and are monitoring them?
baudrunner
3 / 5 (2) Jan 02, 2016
Bill's smokin' out back behind the shed of his billion dollar house, going, "tee hee hee"..
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jan 02, 2016
It does not matter what the government says. It is going to do what it wants to you.

I learned to fear the Department of Justice when I served for 24 months on a Federal Criminal Grand Jury.
kochevnik
not rated yet Jan 04, 2016
'Nation-state' intrusion? He means Israel?
Lex Talonis
not rated yet Jan 04, 2016
Microsoft and the people running and selling this shit hole of spyware infested crap can go fuck themselves.

I use Linux.
Eikka
not rated yet Jan 04, 2016
Microsoft and the people running and selling this shit hole of spyware infested crap can go fuck themselves.

I use Linux.

Using Linux is like nailing the schematics of your home security system on your front door.

It might be a good home security system, but if ever there's a flaw found, all the secret services and international criminals are going to know about it before you do because they're not going to tell you.

There's less cops than robbers out there. Take for example the Debian case where for two years or more, the SSH encryption was compromized in millions of systems because someone deliberately injected a broken file into the central repository, from which it was distributed to everyone.

Lex Talonis
5 / 5 (1) Jan 04, 2016
There is no point debating this issue.

The people running microsoft have released so much buggy to very bad software that - I was prepared to do anything to get rid of these American retards and their corporate moron shit.

Linux has improved in leaps and bounds, and I am not going mental trying to get stuff done.

I have almost no down time ever, most of the software is good to great, and I am really happy using it.

But most of all, I am so glad that I do not have to use Microsoft software...

Licensing, patches, entering codes to make the software work... blah, blah, blah, blah....

Entire versions of their Operating System that are total crap....

Win 95? 98? Millenium (bad), XP (good), V something? (bad) , Office 2007 (total garbage) etc.,

Perpetually crippled versions of the same software, home user, home office, office, pro, enterprise etc.....

The open source material is basically free of ALL that crap......

antigoracle
1 / 5 (1) Jan 04, 2016
Who is going to inform us of Microsoft's intrusion?
kochevnik
not rated yet Jan 04, 2016
@eikka It might be a good home security system, but if ever there's a flaw found, all the secret services and international criminals are going to know about it before you do because they're not going to tell you.
You have absolutely no understanding of open source or education. Why not close all schools and shoot all teachers, Eikka? You must dream of the killing fields
Lex Talonis
not rated yet Jan 06, 2016
Eikka is gorgeous I love her.

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