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Attack exposes Outlook emails to criminals; know how to protect yourself | Email

An attack on Outlook caused emails from outlook, msn and hotmail users to leak for months. Microsoft began to warn late Friday of compromising addresses, folder names and message subjects.

READ: List brings seven tips for Outlook, former Hotmail

The company later admitted that the problem had been far greater: between January 1 and March 28, about 6 percent of the intercepted accounts would also have had compromised message content. No corporate accounts would have been affected, but the company has not yet disclosed the number of personal profiles involved.

Outlook security breach allowed hackers to access email; know how to protect yourself Photo: Divulgao / OutlookOutlook security breach allowed hackers to access email; know how to protect yourself Photo: Divulgao / Outlook

Outlook security breach allowed hackers to access email; know how to protect yourself Photo: Divulgao / Outlook

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The criminals exploited a security hole in Microsoft's support service to retrieve email data from users. Most of the information was restricted to addresses, email subjects and personal folder names created on the web version of the services. However, attackers were also able to access the body of messages exchanged by some users.

Microsoft only admitted the seriousness of the problem after the US technology portal Motherboard had access to an official message alerting the most affected group of users, containing more detailed safety instructions. According to the publication, a source linked to Microsoft also reported that the stolen data would have been under the control of criminals for longer, at least six months.

Full email access, according to Motherboard, would have been used by hackers to reset iCloud accounts and unlock stolen iPhones. Microsoft did not detail whether the hacked accounts were used for this purpose.

According to Microsoft, breaking into Outlook accounts did not allow access to passwords or other login credentials. Still, the company recommends that users reset their account access data as a precaution. See how to do this in the following tutorial.

Step 1. Go to login.live and log in to your Outlook, MSN or Hotmail account using your email and password;

Access Outlook, MSN or Hotmail Photo: Reproduo / Paulo AlvesAccess Outlook, MSN or Hotmail Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Access Outlook, MSN or Hotmail Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Step 2. Click on your profile photo in the upper right corner and select View Account;

Access Account Settings Photo: Playback / Paulo AlvesAccess Account Settings Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Access Account Settings Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Step 3. In the account screen, expand the More Actions menu and choose Change Password;

Access account password change menu Photo: Playback / Paulo AlvesAccess account password change menu Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Access account password change menu Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Step 4. Outlook is likely to request a login confirmation through an alternate medium, such as a mobile phone, secondary email, or code generator application. Select one of the options to proceed;

Select an alternative medium to receive an authentication code Photo: Reproduction / Paulo AlvesSelect an alternative medium to receive an authentication code Photo: Reproduction / Paulo Alves

Select an alternative medium to receive an authentication code Photo: Reproduction / Paulo Alves

Step 5. In general, I need to manually enter the alternate means to obtain the code, either a telephone number or an email address. Then press the Submit Code button;

Enter the recovery email or phone number Photo: Playback / Paulo AlvesEnter the recovery email or phone number Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Enter the recovery email or phone number Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Step 6. Enter in the field the code received by the alternative means and check the option Verify;

Enter the code to access the account Photo: Reproduction / Paulo AlvesEnter the code to access the account Photo: Reproduction / Paulo Alves

Enter the code to access the account Photo: Reproduction / Paulo Alves

Step 7. When accessing the password reset page, enter the current code in the first space and enter the new password in the next two fields. Press Save to finish.

Create a new password for Outlook, MSN or Hotmail Photo: Playback / Paulo AlvesCreate a new password for Outlook, MSN or Hotmail Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Create a new password for Outlook, MSN or Hotmail Photo: Playback / Paulo Alves

Via Motherboard and The Verge