Recently, there is a lot written about email accounts being hacked by governments. Last year the same happened in China for certain Gmail users. Google hit back by allowing HTTPS for all Gmail accounts by default. This added security has now become the norm and almost all email providers allow HTTPS access by default.
Hotmail recently deactivated HTTPS for accounts from certain regions according to EFF. This might have allowed governments of those regions to snoop into the email accounts of people from there.
Hotmail was deactivated in the Bahrain, Myanmar, Iran, Syria, Jordan and a few more countries. Interestingly these countries are the ones that have had a few protest movements and subsequently government crackdowns.
Microsoft calls it a bug!
Officially Microsoft has responded with the following statement
We are aware of an issue that impacted some Hotmail users trying to enable HTTPs. That issue has now been resolved. Account security is a top priority for Hotmail and our support for HTTPS is worldwide – we do not intentionally limit support by region or geography…..
Read Entire message here.
I changed by location to some of the countries mention and I could use HTTPS, so I am guessing the issue was resolved by Microsoft. Even though Microsoft are claiming it was a bug, I still find it difficult to believe considering, the locations picked up by this bug.
What are your views on Hotmail security? Do you think it was an honest mistake and just a bug or do your suspect Microsoft’s intentions? Do drop in your comments.