Microsoft Corp appears to be the latest U.S. company targeted by China for antitrust investigation as government officials paid sudden visits to the software firm's Chinese offices on Monday.
Representatives from China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce, which is responsible for enforcing business laws, made the visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, according to local media reports that were confirmed by Microsoft.
Scott Charney, of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing, said the government has "never" asked for a backdoor in Microsoft products. Yet a former engineer working on BitLocker claimed the government does ask, but those requests are “informal.”
Microsoft disclosed in a statement that China is investigating the company in an antitrust probe after China government officials paid unexpected visits to the software firm’s offices.
Representatives from China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which is responsible for enforcing business laws, made the visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
Microsoft Corp. is in talks to acquire Israel-based cybersecurity startup Aorato Ltd., according to a person familiar with the matter, who said the deal was worth around $200 million and could close within the next two months.
Microsoft declined to comment and Aorato wasn’t immediately available for comment. Founded in 2011 by veterans of the Israel Defense Forces technology units, Aorato develops and sells software that monitors access to central communication components in enterprise IT systems.
Microsoft's widely used software for brokering network access has a critical design flaw, an Israeli security firm said, but Microsoft contends the issue has been long-known and defenses are in place.
Aorato used public information to craft a proof-of-concept attack that shows how an attacker can change a person's network password, potentially allowing access to other sensitive systems, said Tal Be'ery, its vice president of research.