Microsoft has announced that their email service has been breached via a compromised support agent’s account, giving hackers access to users’ inboxes between January and March this year. Outlook, MSN and Hotmail accounts were among those impacted, with users being notified by Microsoft via email that there may have been unauthorised access to information such as email address, folder names, subject lines and contacts’ email addresses.
Despite initial reports to the contrary, Microsoft later confirmed that hackers had also gained access to the email contents of a small proportion (6%) of affected users. Users of breached accounts have been advised to reset their password as a precaution and should be aware they may be targets for phishing attacks. As with all victims of data breaches, they are urged to watch out for emails that ask for personal information or financial details, even if they appear legitimate, and don’t click on email links. Instead look up a genuine phone number or email address yourself to confirm the validity of the company contacting you.