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Microsoft has announced that it will alert its users to the possibility that their account has been subject to a state-sanctioned cyberattack.
Scott Charney, corporate vice president for the tech giant’s Trustworthy Computing Group, explained that this latest development is part of its ongoing commitment to keep personal information “secure and private”.
He said that while Microsoft already notifies its users of a possible breach, in this instance, the information provided will be specific because attacks of this ilk “could be more sophisticated or more sustained” in nature.
Such a notification, Mr. Charney continued, does not automatically mean that an account has actually been compromised.
However, alerts are sent out because evidence gathered by its security experts would at least indicate that an account has been targeted, the expert clarified.“It’s very important you take additional measures to keep your account secure.”
“It’s very important you take additional measures to keep your account secure,” he continued.
“You should also make sure your computer and other devices don’t not have viruses or malware installed, and that all your software is up to date.”
Mr. Charney added that the information provided to users will, for reasons of security, be limited (including the identities of the attackers and the methodology used).
This development at Microsoft is the latest in a number of similar ‘cyber-policy’ updates at high-profile tech companies.
In October, Facebook announced that it was introducing similar notifications outlined above, if it felt that a user’s account had been targeted or compromised by an individual or group “working on behalf of a nation state”.
Google, meanwhile, has been issuing comparable alerts since 2012. Again, it has previously noted that such a warning is not to be confused with an actual incident – ”just that you may be a target”.
All three companies advise that in the event of receiving an alert, users take all necessary measures to secure their account.
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security