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Microsoft will alert users of state-sponsored attacks, too

by Todd Haselton | December 31, 2015December 31, 2015 10:00 am PDT


Microsoft is joining Google, Yahoo and Facebook in a new initiative under which it will alert users if it believes they’ve been targeted or have potentially become the victim of a state-sponsored cyber attack. A state-sponsored attack would be a breach caused by a government.

“We’re taking this additional step of specifically letting you know if we have evidence 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,” Microsoft said.

The company noted that such a notification, if you receive one, doesn’t always mean your account is already compromised. But it does mean that Microsoft has “evidence your account has been targeted.”

There are a few ways to prevent this from ever happening, including making sure your computer isn’t riddled with malware, enabling two-factor authentication, running the latest software available, changing your password often and keeping it strong when you do and, finally, by watching for suspicious activity.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...