Sci-tech

Microsoft warns Outlook users to change passwords after hackers gained access

Microsoft warns Outlook users to change passwords after hackers gained access”

It is unclear exactly how many accounts were affected.

There's some bad news for Outlook.com users, as it's emerged that the webmail service has been compromised and some folks have had their accounts hacked, with the perpetrators even able to read emails in a limited number of cases - despite Microsoft's initial denial that email content was viewable.

"This unauthorized access could have allowed unauthorized 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", Microsoft said (emphasis is ours). Because of that, an European Union investigation is likely to follow into whether Microsoft complied with the regulation and whether it did its best to prevent the hack.

On Saturday TechCrunch reported that Microsoft's Outlook.com web service has been breached for around 3 months, between January and March 2019, after "cybercriminals" managed to acquire the credentials of a customer support rep.

In our original story, we shared the email that Microsoft was sending out to those who had been affected by the attack, explaining that hackers had only been able to access a limited amount of information. The hack did not affect enterprise accounts, it added.

In that notification, Microsoft said that no login credentials were stolen and that the attackers could not read the contents of emails.

The company has now advised affected users to reset their passwords. "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".



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