Microsoft has taken a cue from Facebook and announced a new feature where it will notify you if it believes your account has been targeted or compromised by an individual or group working on behalf of a nation state.
Microsoft Outlook email and One Drive users will be warned in case of a suspected state sponsored attack. The company already notify users if it believes their accounts have been targeted or compromised by a third party. Microsoft said that if you receive a notification it doesn’t necessarily mean that your account has been compromised, but it does mean that your account has been targeted. The evidence collected by the company in the process could be sensitive and hence details or specific information about the attackers or their methods will not be disclosed. However, if it is found that the attacker is “state sponsored,” users will be notified.
Microsoft even suggests that users could turn on the two step verification and use stronger passwords for securing accounts and personal information. It even recommends users to monitor their recent account activities and not open emails from unfamiliar senders or email attachments that you don’t recognize. The latest move comes from Microsoft after the company was questioned about over hacking of over 1,000 of the company’s Hotmail email accounts by elements linked to Chinese authorities over three years starting in July 2009. Google, Twitter and Yahoo also offer similar notifications in case of a state sponsored attack.