Years Ago, the Chinese Hacked Hotmail, but Microsoft Remained Mum

Former Microsoft employees have revealed that Chinese authorities had hacked into Hotmail in 2011, but Microsoft didn't inform users, according to Reuters last week. Microsoft said it will now change its policy.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters that the company was initially not certain of the origin of the attacks. Reuters reported:

Microsoft also launched its own investigation that year, finding that some interception had begun in July 2009 and had compromised the emails of top Uighur and Tibetan leaders in multiple countries, as well as Japanese and African diplomats, human rights lawyers and others in sensitive positions inside China....

In announcing the new policy, Microsoft said: "As the threat landscape has evolved our approach has too, and we'll now go beyond notification and guidance to specify if we reasonably believe the attacker is `state-sponsored.'"

At the time, Microsoft simply forced users to change their passwords without telling them why.

Google and subsequently Facebook have been issuing warnings about state-sponsored hacking for years. Twitter has also announced that it would follow Google's lead. Now Microsoft has joined in. The Reuters article had nothing to say about Apple's own policy.