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Microsoft president: Cyber attack should be 'wake-up call'

The cyber attack should be a 'wake-up call' to the government's of the world, Microsoft President Brad Smith said. Credit: AP

The governments of the world should treat the cyber attack as a "wake-up call", the president of Microsoft has said.

In a blog post Brad Smith wrote that after a vulnerability was identified a security update was released for newer Windows systems, but "many remained unpatched globally".

Mr Smith continued that engineers had been "working around the clock" to try and help all Micorsoft customers affected by the attack and that "broader and important lessons" should be learnt from the "WannaCrypt" malware.

He continued that users must ensure they update their computer's security systems regularly.

Mr Smith stressed that governments must report vulnerabilities in their computer systems to the companies they have bought them from.

He finished by saying: "We should take from this recent attack a renewed determination for more urgent collective action.

"We need the tech sector, customers, and governments to work together to protect against cybersecurity attacks.

"More action is needed, and it’s needed now.

"In this sense, the WannaCrypt attack is a wake-up call for all of us."

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Microsoft to warn Outlook users of government hacking

Microsoft will tell Outlook users about 'state-sponsored' hacking. Credit: PA

Microsoft is to begin warning users of the Outlook email service when it suspects a government has tried to hack their accounts, the company said on Wednesday.

The policy change at the world's largest software company follows similar moves since October by Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Google pioneered the practice in 2012 and said it now alerts tens of thousands of users every few months.

Microsoft has offered alerts about potential security breaches for two years without specifying the likely suspect.

In the statement, the company 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'."

The announcement came after it emerged Microsoft did not tell Hotmail users it suspected Chinese authorities of hacking into more than 1,000 accounts several years ago.

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