Microsoft confirms hackers had access to Outlook.com accounts for the past three months


It doesn’t sound like the worst breach of privacy, but it’s still pretty creepy

IF YOU HAVE an Outlook.com email address, it’s possible you’re not the only one who has been reading the email headers.

Microsoft has sent an email out to a number of account holders to warn them that a support agent’s login details were compromised and that it’s possible limited parts of their email may have been spied on between 1 January and 29 March 2019 as a result.

“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 company wrote in an email.

In other words, they could have seen an email promising you great bargains, but tantalisingly not what the great bargains themselves were.

The company says to those receiving the email that they should be extra wary of phishing attempts for the foreseeable future. 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.

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

Microsoft won’t say how many accounts were hit by this particular breach, telling The Verge that it was only a “limited subset of consumer accounts.” That sounds low, but “limited” really is a subjective term: technically only a “limited” number of people enjoy the music of Cliff Richard, but it’s still too many for comfort. µ

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