Microsoft will warn users of state-sponsored attacks

Microsoft is launching a new security notification feature.  Microsoft will now alert you if they believe your Outlook or OneDrive accounts are under attack by any entity that they think might be working for a nation-state.

Microsoft was already informing their users if they believed any unauthorized entity was trying to hack into their accounts, but now they are getting more specific about it.

State-sponsored attacks are just like attacks by any other hackers, except that they have the support of a government.  State-sponsored attacks tend to be more sophisticated attacks.

“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 in a blog post.”These notifications do not mean that Microsoft’s own systems have in any way been compromised.”

Receiving a notification email does not necessarily mean that your account has been compromised, it just means that MIcrosoft believes that someone is in fact attacking your account.  You should take extra precautions if this occurs.  Perhaps you should change passwords, and do a sweep of all of your devices to make sure that they do not have any malware or viruses on them.

Microsoft is not the first company to enact such a security measure.  Google started doing the same thing for Gmail users 3 years ago after they saw a subset of their users under attack.  Yahoo started alerting its users whom it suspected were being spied on by state-sponsored hackers just last week.  Facebook also started their own alert system back in October of this year.



For information on how you can prevent your organization from being breached, visit or call 714-515-4011.


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