Microsoft reveals that hackers had access to some Outlook email accounts

Microsoft Reveals Email Breach, Says Hackers Accessed User Data

Microsoft Reveals Email Breach, Says Hackers Accessed User Data

As part of another data breach (this time involving Microsoft), several users' Outlook accounts were accessed by hackers for three months.

"We have identified that a Microsoft support agent's credentials were compromised, enabling individuals outside Microsoft to access information within your Microsoft email account "between January 1 and March 28", Xinhua quoted Microsoft as saying in the email".

While the data breach is now contained, Microsoft still has to take some measures to stop itself from becoming the next Facebook!

The email sent out to users by Microsoft notes email addresses, folder names, subject lines of emails and email recipient addresses may have been exposed, but likely not the content of the emails themselves.

For now, it's not yet known how many users were exposed, but as per the cited source, there's a chance at least some are based in Europe.

In follow-up questions with other Microsoft engineers, we were also told that the confusion about what the hacker might have accessed depends on whose account the hacker accessed, as the term "support agent" is used for both tech support staff, but also for engineers working with Microsoft's enterprise customers.

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Upon awareness of this issue, Microsoft immediately disabled the compromised credentials, prohibiting their use for any further unauthorized access.

This security incident comes weeks after a former security researcher pled guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo servers for a number of weeks in January 2017, allowing European hackers to access pre-release versions of Windows.

However, what the hackers could not access were the users' emails or the attached content within those emails.

In Microsoft's statement to Outlook.com users who received its notification, the company says, "Out data indicates that account-related information (but not the content of any e-mails) could have been viewed, but Microsoft has no indication why that information was viewed or how it may have been used".

Even though the software giant ensures that no login details or other personal information were stolen by the hackers, the company is recommending that affected users reset their passwords. Some reports suggest Microsoft's email, ironically, is ending up in spam folders for some users.

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