Microsoft, the FBI and User Privacy

Microsoft is at the center of a pair of security incidents last week that serve to illustrate how the software giant uses customer information. In one incident, Microsoft was allegedly breached by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), which is an online hacktivist group that is loosely affiliated with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The SEA has claimed responsibility for a number of high-profile attacks in recent months, including an attack against Microsoft and its Skype service back in January.

In a separate and unrelated event last week, a Microsoft investigation led to the arrest of a former employee over Windows 8 leaks.

The issue with that investigation is that Microsoft actually looked through the ex-employee’s Hotmail and Outlook email accounts to find information. In a statement sent to eWEEK from Microsoft, the company defended its actions.

“During an investigation of an employee, we discovered evidence that the employee was providing stolen IP, including code relating to our activation process, to a third party,” Microsoft stated. “In order to protect our customers and the security and integrity of our products, we conducted an investigation over many months with law-enforcement agencies in multiple countries.”

Read the full story at eWEEK:
Microsoft Hacks Its Own User, Gets Breached by Syrian Electronic Army

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


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