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Microsoft reveals a security breach hit some Outlook.com accounts

Microsoft has sent out warning emails to a limited number of Outlook.com accounts that may have been somewhat compromised over the last three months.

To be clear, Microsoft states that the potential risk is pretty limited, due to the nature of the breach. This wasn’t a wholesale loss of passwords: rather one support agent’s account was compromised allowing for some top-line information on accounts, according to the email.

This unauthorised access could have allowed unauthorised parties to access and/or view information related to your email account (such as your email address, folder names, the subject lines of emails, and the names of other email addresses you communicate with), but not the content of any emails or attachments,” the company explained in the message sent out to certain account holders.

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That’s the official line, although other takes are available. One former Microsoft engineer suggested that the account may have had greater permissions than that, telling ZDNet: “They can see how many emails you have, where the database lies, email content, last person you emailed.”

In any case, Microsoft’s official advice on the subject is to change passwords as a precaution and to be extra vigilant to possible phishing attempts over the upcoming weeks.

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

Do you use an Outlook.com email address, and have you received the warning from Microsoft? Does it worry you? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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