In the biggest blow to Microsoft since its Feb’ 2018 infamous Skype hack, the software giant confirmed that hackers gained access to email accounts on its Outlook service by compromising Microsoft’s support portal.
The breach apparently allowed hackers to gain access to Hotmail, MSN and Outlook emails. TechCrunch reported that hackers breached the Microsoft network between January 1 and March 28 and compromised the Microsoft support agent’s credentials.
What did Microsoft do in wake of the breach?
Although Microsoft has not revealed the number of users affected by the hack, it reached out to a “limited set of targeted accounts”. Microsoft's incident notification mail indicates that the compromised accounts might have been based in the EU.
Upon disclosure, the compromised credentials were immediately disabled and the company claims that the action stopped hackers from gaining any further unauthorized access.
TC disclosed that Microsoft emailed affected users notifying them that the hackers were able to access email addresses, folder names, and contents of the subject line, but were unable to access attachments and login credentials.
As a precautionary measure, Microsoft has advised affected users to change their Outlook passwords. The company also warned users that they might be seeing a spike in spam and phishing emails.
Two burning questions, however, are yet to be addressed by Microsoft:
a). The specifics of how the Microsoft support agent’s credentials were “compromised”.
b). Why did the company not take any action for over three months now?
Here's a snapshot of Microsoft's incident notification mail shared by Reddit user Keats852: