Microsoft will now alert you when the government hacks your account

Microsoft will begin alerting its users when they appear to be victims of state-sponsored hacking, the company has announced in a blog post.

It's a new measure to be added to Microsoft's general safety alerts on its consumer products such as Outlook and OneDrive. It has previously sent alerts when it detects your account may be being hacked, but now there will be a specific one when it thinks the breach is coming from the government.

An alert won't necessarily mean your account has been compromised, only that someone has attempted to compromise it - and in the case of state-sponsored hacks, it'll be able to tell you when there's a potential hack going on, but not which government is doing it.

Microsoft's blog said: "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. These notifications do not mean that Microsoft's own systems have in any way been compromised."

The company is the latest in a list of tech firms to bring in alerts about state hacking, following the likes of Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter.

However, it does mean that Microsoft is potentially walking in a grey area of surveillance laws - especially if the so-called 'snooper's charter' is passed.

Source: Independent

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