Outlook and Hotmail users left exposed in Microsoft email breach

Ceria Alfonso
Abril 15, 2019

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.

However, Microsoft said the hackers could only see the user's email address, folders, and subject lines of messages (as well as addresses the user has emailed), but that they couldn't actually read the contents of an email, or view attachments (or indeed gain access to the login credentials of the account).

"Our data indicates 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", the report quoted the company as saying in its email.

As of now, it remains undisclosed exactly how many users were affected by the breach. 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.

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However, responding to an article in the online Vice website Motherboard, Microsoft confirmed that some users were advised that the content of their emails may have been vulnerable to the hacker.

With access to our cloud data and PCs in many cases tied to our Microsoft accounts, which are also our Outlook.com email addresses, Microsoft owes it to users to be more clear about the compromise, and also how they will prevent it from recurring in the future.

Microsoft didn't specify how many accounts were compromised, other than telling TechCrunch that "a limited number of consumer accounts were impacted, and we have notified all impacted customers".

"Microsoft regrets any inconvenience caused by this issue", the email notification ends.

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