Microsoft breach exposed Hotmail, Outlook email users

Microsoft breach exposed Hotmail, Outlook email users

April 15, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Better change your password and review your other personal information.

Users of Microsoft’s Outlook, Hotmail and MSN email services had their accounts exposed for nearly three months after hackers gained unauthorized access via an Outlook customer support account.

Microsoft said the breach, which occurred between January and March, let hackers view individuals’ personal information such as message recipients and email subject lines. The software giant didn’t disclose how many email users had their accounts exposed; officials said that the hackers, whom Microsoft called “bad actors,” were unable to get access to the email information of most of the accounts that were compromised.

According to a statement from Microsoft, the company notified approximately 6 percent of “the original, already limited subset of consumers” that the “hackers” gained unauthorized access to the content of their email accounts. The company said it then provided “additional guidance and support,” and increased its detection and monitoring of the affected accounts.

Microsoft breach exposed Hotmail, Outlook email users

Hackers broke into a customer support account, which then allowed them to gain unauthorized access to personal information, such as the subject lines of some emails, the identities of recipients of messages and the names of folders, which are used by many customers to organize emails.

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However, technology news site Motherboard reported that the extent of the breach was significant, with the content of some users’ emails and inboxes being left exposed.

Microsoft has urged notified users to reset their passwords “out of caution” and to be vigilant of emails that may contain a misleading domain name or requests for personal information and payment.

“We addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators’ access,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

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