Microsoft reveals major email security breach

Alonzo Simpson
April 16, 2019

Coming to terms with a hacking and data breach case, Microsoft is reaching out to some users informing them of an Outlook.com hack which exposed data sent over emails to hackers who kept accessing their accounts between January 1 to March 28.

Microsoft told customers that one of its support agent's credentials were comprised, allowing cybercriminals to access and view information such as email addresses, folder names, subject lines and other email addresses with which users interacted. Microsoft notified users that hackers may have had able to access information about their accounts - including their email address, email subject lines, and frequent contacts - but not the contents of any messages or attachments, according to TechCrunch.

Even if only a small number of users had their email contents breached, not being totally honest about the situation won't have done Microsoft any PR favors, and could see customers question any future statements from the company.

Microsoft says miscreants accessed some of its customers' webmail inboxes and account data after a support rep's administrative account was hijacked. It added that limited parts of Outlook users' emails may, as a effect, have been compromised too.

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The web mail services affected include platforms like Outlook, Hotmail, and MSN. The company has not confirmed the number of accounts, in total, affected by the breach.

Microsoft sent a warning to Outlook users detailing a hack that lasted from January 1 to March 28.

Although Microsoft asserted that login details and personal information had not been stolen, it warned recipients of its email to be extra-vigilant over potential phishing attempts. It said it had also increased detection and monitoring for the affected accounts.

"We addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators' access", the report quoted a Microsoft spokesperson as saying.

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