Claim Outlook.com website breach much worse than Microsoft admits

Claim Outlook.com website breach much worse than Microsoft admits

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.

Microsoft sent an email to the affected users last Friday, alerting them that hackers had potentially been able to access a trove of information, including the subject lines of their emails and the names of the people they've emailed, "but not the content of any e-mails or attachments".

The hack is apparently the outcome of hackers gaining access to customer support account for Outlook.com, a tool that does give support agents full access to Outlook.com emails.

Cybercriminals have compromised a "limited" number of Microsoft email accounts, the software giant has told customers.

Microsoft confirmed over the weekend that a "limited" number of customers who use its Outlook.com web service had their accounts compromised.

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The support account would also have only had access to free Outlook.com/Hotmail/MSN-branded accounts, and not to paid Office 365 email.

"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", the email adds.

The source confirms that hackers were able to read the contents of emails, saying the access was used as part of a scam to unlock iPhones which had been stolen. When presented with this evidence, Microsoft admitted this was the case for around 6 percent of a small number of impacted customers.

However, following a new report from Vice's Motherboard website revealing that hackers were actually able to read the content of emails, Microsoft has been forced to change its stance.

The company has now advised affected users to reset their passwords. Out of an abundance of caution, we also increased detection and monitoring to further protect affected accounts.

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