The Chinese government hacked into Hotmail accounts
(Mirror Daily, United States) – After omitting to do so for several years, Microsoft will warn users of government hacking in the future especially in China.
Hacking is something quite common these days and it affects almost all internet users who have online accounts. It’s usually done by individuals who for different reasons, in most cases money, break into people’s accounts and find out their personal information and their whereabouts.
But criminals are not the only ones doing this. They probably weren’t the ones who started it. The ones who want to know all about us are government organizations, especially if they feel that we have something to hide.
For example, a few years ago authorities in China hacked into over a thousand of Hotmail accounts, as they were trying to keep an eye on some international leaders of Tibetan and Uighur minorities in China.
Although Microsoft discovered the issue, they decided not to announce the victims and this obviously meant the hackers went on tracking those people. Now, if we’re talking about one independent hackers playing around and breaking into people’s accounts, companies like Microsoft would try to stop him or her and if they somehow manage to get track of him, authorities get involved as well to catch the criminal. But what do you do when the hacker represents the authorities?
The hacking was first observed in May 2011 by the Trend Micro Inc. but Microsoft managed to secure the accounts before the company made the findings public. After leading their own investigation Microsoft discovered that the hacking started in July 2009 and targeted besides Tibetan and Uighur leaders, some African and Japanese diplomats and human right lawyers.
The source of the hacking was traced back to AS4808, a Chinese network formerly associated with spying campaigns. According to former Microsoft employees, the Chinese government was not the only hacking source and others existed as well.
At the time, Microsoft requested its users to change their Hotmail passwords without disclosing the reason for the change. However, Microsoft has now announced a new policy in which they will specify the source of hacking to the users, in case they manage to trace it. They will do so, regardless of who the hacker is and they will offer support and guidance to users in order to change their password accounts or maybe create new ones if necessary.
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