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profishingrods.com April 19, 2019


Microsoft support agent's email hacked, customer emails compromised

15 April 2019, 09:15 | Cameron Gross

Microsoft reveals major email security breach

Microsoft support agent's email hacked, customer emails compromised

The hack is apparently the effect of hackers gaining access to customer support account for Outlook.com, a tool that does give support agents full access to Outlook.com emails. A source told Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox outsiders could exploited a customer support portal to infiltrate any normal customer account, reading contents including the body of an email message.

On Saturday, Microsoft confirmed to TechCrunch that hackers could have accessed affected users' email address, folder names, subject lines, and the names of other email addresses the user communicates with.

In a privacy notification posted on Reddit, Microsoft alerted customers the unauthorized access lasted from January 1 through March 28 of this year.




The worry was that even limited information like email subject lines could enable malicious parties to concoct a more convincing phishing scam to aim at the user whose email they have (and they could also employ extra details like the names of friends, gleaned from the email addresses the user has contacted). After this pushback, Microsoft responded that around 6 percent of customers had suffered unauthorized access to their emails, and that these customers received different breach notifications to make this clear.

Furthermore, while Microsoft says the breach only occurred between January and March, the report indicates hackers had access to email accounts for about six months.

A report from Motherboard and citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the hack reveals that the attackers could "gain access to any email account as long as it wasn't a corporate level account". Enterprise accounts were not affected, per Motherboard's source. Passwords were not stolen in the hack. Without providing numbers of those affected, it's known that at least some of them were in the European Union, meaning that the data breach will fall under the purview of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The company noted that the contents of emails or attachments were not accessed.



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