Anti-Fraud Mitigation for New Windows Azure Platform Accounts

Technology is often abused for illegal purposes and it appears that this also applies to Microsoft’s Cloud offerings.

In a move designed to prevent fraud, the software giant has make it mandatory for customers purchasing new Windows Azure accounts to also go through an extra hoop before being able to use the platform.

Essentially, new Windows Azure customers will need to go through an extra verification process, a fraud prevention measure implemented by the Redmond company earlier this week.

“When a new customer first logs on to the Windows Azure platform developer portal, the customer must provide us with a cell phone number where we then send a 4-digit code via a text message. The customer must then enter this 4-digit code on the Developer Portal for verification purposes. This is a one-time only process,” the software giant said.

Microsoft is all too aware of the fact that now all new Windows Azure customers will be able to go through this verification process, even if they are perfectly legitimate.

The company has however set up an alternative to the phone-based anti-fraud mechanism.

“Due to limitations of this process, certain markets and cell phone carriers are presently not supported. In these instances, the customer will receive a message that they need to contact support for manual verification,” the company said.

“We apologize for this inconvenience. We are currently working hard to expand the list of supported markets and carriers.”

Microsoft assures existing customers that they will not be impacted in any way by the new anti-fraud measures introduced into Windows Azure.

Even in the eventuality that they decide to acquire a new account, Windows Azure platform customers with established accounts will not need to get through the verification process.

All Windows Azure users that passed the cell phone verification once will not be required to do so ever again, the company said.

Microsoft did not offer any details explaining why the new anti-fraud mechanism was necessary.

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