Microsoft admits some email services breached

Microsoft support agent's email hacked, customer emails compromised

In the latest of a seemingly endless string of high-profile hacks, Microsoft confirmed to TechCrunch over the weekend that a "limited" number of people who use Microsoft's email platforms - including Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail - had their accounts compromised.

Microsoft has started notifying some Outlook.com users that a hacker has been accessing their accounts for several months. A source described the attack before Microsoft released its statement, and then provided screenshots to prove it. Microsoft then confirmed to Motherboard that some email content had been accessed.

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.

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Microsoft tried to calm users' concerns by saying that only "your e-mail address, folder names, the subject lines of e-mails, and the names of other e-mail addresses you communicate with" had been accessed. Enterprise accounts were not affected, per Motherboard's source. It's not clear how many users have been affected by the breach.

The hack is apparently the outcome of hackers gaining access to customer support account for Outlook.com, a tool that does give support agents full access to Outlook.com emails. Although Microsoft says that login details and personal information couldn't have been stolen through this particular approach, the company is advising you mix up your password anyway for the hell of it, too. "Please be assured that Microsoft takes data protection very seriously and has engaged its internal security and privacy teams in the investigation and resolution of the issue, as well as additional hardening of systems and processes to prevent such recurrence". They also claim that the hack lasted at least six months, doubling the period of vulnerability that Microsoft has claimed. Out of an abundance of caution, we also increased detection and monitoring to further protect affected accounts.

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