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Microsoft installs tougher Outlook and Onedrive encryption to curb NSA snooping

TLS and PFS encryption deployed to put an end to back door snooping
Tue Jul 01 2014, 15:36
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MICROSOFT HAS IMPLEMENTED better encryption for its Outlook and Onedrive services, as it promised it would late last year.

Last December, Microsoft's Brad Smith said that in order to protect against government surveillance and the growing threat from hackers, it would improve security across its services.

Today the firm announced that it has installed these improved security measures. Microsoft said in a blog post, "Our goal is to provide even greater protection for data across all the great Microsoft services you use and depend on every day.

"This effort also helps us reinforce that governments use appropriate legal processes, not technical brute force, if they want access to that data."

Microsoft announced that Outlook.com is now protected by Transport Layer Security (TLS), which means that email will be better encrypted and better protected as it travels between Microsoft and other email providers.

The firm has also equipped its online email service, along with Onedrive, with Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) encryption, which uses a different encryption key for every connection, making emails more difficult for hackers to decrypt.

Microsoft explained, "Onedrive customers now automatically get forward secrecy when accessing Onedrive through onedrive.live.com, our mobile Onedrive application and our sync clients. As with Outlook.com's email transfer, this makes it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections between their systems and Onedrive."

As a footnote, Microsoft also announced that it has opened its first Transparency Center on its campus in Redmond.

"Our Transparency Centers provide participating governments with the ability to review source code for our key products, assure themselves of their software integrity, and confirm there are no 'back doors'," the firm said. µ

 

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