Microsoft admits to three-month long Outlook account hack

Microsoft Says Hackers Had Access to Some

In a privacy notification posted on Reddit, Microsoft alerted customers the unauthorized access lasted from January 1 through March 28 of this year.

The case came into notice when the software giant discovered that credentials of a support agent were compromised for its Web mail service which led to unauthorised access into some accounts. Email accounts were then accessed and information including each account's email address, folder names, subject lines, and the other email addresses communicated with could be viewed.

According to Microsoft, corporate-level accounts were not affected by the breach. It added that limited parts of Outlook users' emails may, as a outcome, have been compromised too.

However, responding to an article in the online Vice website Motherboard, Microsoft confirmed that some users were advised that the content of their emails may have been vulnerable to the hacker.

As serious as this sounds, the hack was even worse than Microsoft first let on, as Motherboard reported on Sunday that the hackers were indeed able to access actual emails from "a large number of Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail email accounts".

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Microsoft said in a statement: "We addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators' access".

The firm warned in its e-mail that users might receive more spam and phishing e-mails as a result of the incident, and urged users not to click on links from e-mail addresses they did not recognise.

Microsoft confirmed to Motherboard that it sent breach notification emails to Outlook.com users who had their emails read by hackers, and the company added that this was just 6% of users affected by the hack.

It seems that a support employee had their login compromised, which meant the hackers were easily able to gain access to the account information. Out of an abundance of caution, we also increased detection and monitoring to further protect affected accounts.

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