Numerous accounts within Outlook.com, MSN and Hotmail were being hacked for over three months and customers must be fuming that the company failed to admit the extent of the damage done.
It was an independent Vice Motherboard that first brought to the notice of the public that their accounts could have been hacked. Microsoft took its own time acknowledging that the hack occurred in the first place. And when it did, the full scale of the hack was not shared with the customers.
Mainly, it was not informed that the hacker managed to read the contents of the users' mails and not just the subject or the heading. Microsoft is yet to confirm how many such accounts were hacked in all.
Experts tracing the hacking incident point out that it was not known to many that in addition to the Outlook.com accounts, there were MSN and Hotmail accounts also that were hacked. The companyâ€™s mails appear to have gone out to only Outlook.com users and not to the others. The other factor being pointed out is that the technology major had not agreed in the first place that the mailsâ€™ contents were also read. Ironically, it was the hacker who got in touch with Vice Motherboard to inform that the mails were read.
It is a different matter that there may not be a huge number of people still using these accounts. The enterprise customers were not impacted by this hack and only the individual account holders suffered.
The hacking tool used for this security breach was supposedly with a customer support employee. Microsoft has just said that in terms of people whose mails were read, it constituted only 6% of the total number of accounts; no absolute figures were shared.