Microsoft admits some email services breached

The breach occurred between January and March this year

Apparently the hackers managed to get hold of a customer support tech's login credentials, which they used to access the various consumer user accounts (paid business accounts weren't affected). A small group (~6 percent of the original, already limited subset of consumers) was notified that the bad actors could have had unauthorized access to the content of their email accounts, and was provided with additional guidance and support.

Microsoft recently became aware of an issue involving unauthorized access to some customers' web-based email accounts by cybercriminals. We addressed this scheme by disabling the compromised credentials to the limited set of targeted accounts, while also blocking the perpetrators' access. The Redmond giant disputes this claim, saying that the breach took place from 1st January 2019 to 28th March 2019. "In 2014, Microsoft looked into the email account of a French blogger to identify a Windows 8 leaker", highlighted the Motherboard report.

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

In an email being sent to affected users, Microsoft claims that apart from the content of the emails including attachments, the hackers could have possibly viewed account email addresses, folder names and subject lines of the mails sent and received, The Verge reported on Saturday.

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This security incident comes weeks after a former security researcher pleaded guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo servers for a number of weeks in January 2017, allowing European hackers to access pre-release versions of Windows.

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

The company added that although password information had not been affected, it encouraged users to change their log-in details "out of caution". They told Motherboard that they can indeed access email contents and have shown that publication screenshots to prove their point.

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