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January 4, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 12:05pm

Microsoft to warn users of state-sponsored hacks

News: The company already notifies users if it believes their accounts have been compromised by a third party.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft said it will notify users if any one of their accounts have been targeted or compromised either by an individual or state-sponsored hacking groups.

The company’s move follows similar actions by other firms like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, who have upgraded their systems to issue notifications.

Microsoft already notifies users if it believes their accounts have been targeted or compromised by a third party and offers guidance on how to keep those accounts secure.

Microsoft vice president for trustworthy computing, Scott Charney, 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."

Microsoft suggested several ways for users to keep their account and online personal information secure.

Consumers are urged to activate two-step verification, use a strong password and change it regularly, watch for suspicious activity on their account, be careful of suspicious emails and websites, keep their computer software, including Web browser, up to date and run an up-to-date anti-virus programme.

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