Microsoft will alert you about government hacks

Posted at 11:34 AM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 11:34:43-05

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Microsoft said Wednesday that it will now notify people if their accounts have been targeted or compromised by a government.

"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," Scott Charney, a vice president at the company, said in a blog post.

Charney said Microsoft does not plan to provide detailed information about attackers or their methods because evidence may be sensitive. The company already notified users if their accounts were compromised, but did not specify if a government was thought to be behind the attack.

Facebook and Twitter have recently implemented similar policies.

State-sponsored hacking has become a focus for security researchers, corporations and governments in recent years.

North Korea, for example, has been fingered by the FBI as a prime suspect in a major attack on Sony in late 2014.

The United States has increasingly pointed its finger at China for sponsoring cyberattacks, but many other countries have been known to engage in similar tactics. Beijing has long denied it is involved in hacking.

™ & © 2015 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.