Published: Tue, April 16, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Com hack more extensive than Microsoft first claimed, email contents compromised

Com hack more extensive than Microsoft first claimed, email contents compromised

Even though email account login details were not accessed in any way, "out of caution" Microsoft is advising those affected to reset their account password. That last was quickly disputed, with Microsoft later admitting to Motherboard that the hackers had gained access to the content of some customers' emails, about 6 percent of those affected.

According to Motherboard's source, hackers had access to this compromised support tool for at least six months, until Microsoft spotted the hack at the end of March.

Why Microsoft would first deny that the content of victims' emails had been accessed, then when confronted with evidence to the contrary change its statement, was not immediately clear. 'This unauthorised access could have allowed unauthorised parties to access and/or view information related to your email account (such as your e-mail address, folder names, the subject lines of e-mails, and the names of other e-mail addresses you communicate with), but not the content of any e-mails or attachments, between January 1st2019 and March 28th 2019.

An unknown number of Microsoft Corp. email account users, including those using Outlook and Hotmail, may have had details of emails stolen in a hack that lasted from January 1 to March 28.

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Microsoft did not say how the attackers were able to steal the support agent's account credentials, though a report from Motherboard cites an unnamed source as suggesting the attack was part of a larger scheme to obtain iCloud accounts that could be used to unlock stolen iPhones.

The company also notified a small number of users that email contents may have been viewed.

The web mail services affected include platforms like Outlook, Hotmail, and MSN.

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. It said it had also increased detection and monitoring for the affected accounts.

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