In timing that can only have been used to try and bury very unpleasant news, it was confirmed by Microsoft that a hacker was able to gain access to the accounts of Outlook.com over a period of months. Three of them, to be exact.
Apparently, the problem cropped up after someone gained access to the credentials of a support agent from January 1st, 2019 through March 28th, 2019. By using these compromised credentials, a third party was able to gain access to an email address, names of the folders, and email subjects although the bodies of emails, or the attached files, were not viewable.
As you can expect, these compromised credentials have been disabled now, with the users of Microsoft emailing whose accounts were compromised. But the thing is no passwords were ever viewable by those who gained access. However, Microsoft is advising that everyone change their password anyway. That’s quite a standard procedure when breaches like this occur, and Microsoft also notes that folks ought to be extra wary of any phishing attempts right now. However, Microsoft isn’t saying exactly how many users were impacted.
“Our data indicate 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. As a result, you may receive phishing emails or other spam emails. You should be careful when receiving any e-mails from any misleading domain name, any e-mail that requests personal information or payment, or any unsolicited request from an untrusted source.
It is important to note that your email login credentials were not directly impacted by this incident. However, out of caution, you should reset your password for your account.”
If you also have an Outlook.com email address but have not received any email yet advising you of the issue, then it means you’re not impacted. It might still be a good idea to change your password anyway, however, we wouldn’t suggest that it’s absolutely necessary.
(Source: The Verge)
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