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Com hack more extensive than Microsoft first claimed, email contents compromised

15 April 2019

An unknown number of Microsoft Corp. email account users, including those using Outlook and Hotmail, may have had details of emails stolen in a hack that lasted from January 1 to March 28.

Microsoft clarified that this "affected a limited subset of consumer accounts" and that the malicious activity began at the start of January 2019 and ran through to nearly the end of March, so essentially lasted three months.

When Microsoft was confronted by the evidence they admitted that hackers had more access than revealed earlier, but said only 6% of the affected had their emails read.

The case came into notice when the software giant discovered that credentials of a support agent were compromised for its Web mail service which led to unauthorised access into some accounts.

"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 tech company informed affected users in an email.

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Additionally, the source claims hackers were able to access the emails for at least six months-twice the amount of time Microsoft claims-though the company denies this is true. The hack did not affect enterprise accounts, it added.

"We addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators access", a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Microsoft did not respond to multiple requests for additional comment.

It transpires that some users have been sent a notification from Microsoft informing them that hackers were able to access the content of emails. The site was tipped off about the greater extent of the hack by an unnamed source, and the fact that email messages - rather than just subject lines - had been accessed was subsequently confirmed by Microsoft. Users should change their passwords out of an abundance of caution.

Com hack more extensive than Microsoft first claimed, email contents compromised