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Tuesday, 26 February 2013 09:23

Chinese crackers take down Microsoft

Written by Nick Farrell



People’s Republic versus the Volish Empire

Red-faced Microsoft claims that it was hacked after one of its staff made "rookie mistake" and opened one of those attachments which you shouldn’t. It seems that Microsoft joins Apple, Facebook, the Wall Street Journal, and New York Times as being targeted by a crack Chinese hacking team. 

Matt Thomlinson, General Manager of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Security admitted that the outfit was hacked, although he did not mention the Chinese. This is a long way from 2011, when John Howie, Microsoft's senior director in the Online Services Security & Compliance (OSSC) team, claimed that Microsoft sites are unhackable and can't be DDoSed.

Howie said that people who were socially engineered to open dodgy email attachments made “rookie mistakes” and he was particularly scathing of companies who coded badly and failed to patch its servers. At Vole, Howie said, there were robust mechanisms to ensure we don't have unpatched servers and there was training for staff so they know how to be secure and be wise to social engineering. If that sounds a little like the “we made the Titanic to be unsinkable” that is because it was.

Voles current statement was a little more circumspect. It just said that the hack found a small number of computers, including some in the super secure Mac business unit which were protected by the faith of the fanboys who worked there. There was have no evidence of customer data being affected and Voles were still looking into it.

Nick Farrell

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