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Cryptocurrency Users Were the Main Target in Microsoft Email Hack

Email servers belonging to Microsoft were hacked during the first quarter of the year with the time frame of the initial breach being between January 1st and March 28th, but the hack did not surface until about two weeks ago. This left crypto users that were operating on Microsoft’s various email platforms vulnerable to the nefarious activity performed by the hackers. Initially, account details for Microsoft’s customer support account were compromised. This led to leaks of non-corporate and unprotected Outlook, Hotmail, and MSN accounts. However, it appears as though this campaign was carried out in an effort to obtain users’ cryptocurrency funds. One user who was affected documented his situation–claiming that his inbox was accessed, the password was changed, and his bitcoin balance was also withdrawn. He also stated that the attackers set up a rule to transfer any emails with “Kraken” included to a G-mail account that they were operating. The user is very unhappy with the way Microsoft is handling the situation and says they are “trying to cover up and is not taking this seriously.” If a serious effort is not made by Microsoft, he plans to file a police report and hold the company accountable for the financial loss he has suffered. On top of all of this, it is believed that the hackers also were able to gain access to password and cryptocurrency fund withdrawal requests.

Analyst Notes

Although this issue appears to be on Microsoft’s end, users can still implement antivirus programs other than Windows Defender, which comes standard. Various other efforts such as being suspicious of emails with attachments from unknown senders or ones that appear to be from a bank or government entity can be carried out. At the end of the day, users should wait to hear how Microsoft is planning on remedying the situation and move forward from there.