Yet Another Microsoft Breach Leaves Customers at Risk
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- By Steven
- Oct 21, 2022
Microsoft is an American technology corporation based out of Redmond, Washington State. At the time of writing, the company has been breached more than a dozen times since 2010. This time is no different, with the information of over 65,000 entities globally now in the hands of the bad actor.
How Did the Attack Occur?
That’s just it; it wasn’t an attack. This leak was entirely on Microsoft’s shoulders. The leak occurred when a misconfigured server was posted onto the internet. “Upon being notified of the misconfiguration, the endpoint was quickly secured and is now only accessible with required authentication. Our investigation found no indication customer accounts or systems were compromised. We have directly notified the affected customers,” Microsoft stated in its notification.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
The publicized data included names, phone numbers, company names, emails, and email content and “may have included attached files relating to business between a customer and Microsoft or an authorized Microsoft partner.” Users were fortunate that the leak released none of their more personal information. Yes, having your address and phone number floating in the ether is terrible, but having your social security number or bank information is almost always worse.
How Did Microsoft Admit to the Leak?
Microsoft admitted to the breach with a statement released on its website on October 19th, 2022. The company was alerted to the breach on September 24th, 2022, and stated that the system was immediately taken offline and is now inaccessible without the proper authentication. ”We are working to improve our processes to further prevent this type of misconfiguration and performing additional due diligence to investigate and ensure the security of all Microsoft endpoints,” Microsoft said.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
With the stolen information, the hacker can launch phishing attacks via text and email and scam the victims through phone calls. They may use the most basic and stereotypical tactics to grab your attention and trick you into giving them personal information. Among the most used are threatening calls from insurance companies and the IRS, charity appeals (where a scammer uses a fake charity to get money out of you), and lottery scams. We don’t all have phones that alert us when a call is likely a scam. When you answer one of these calls, your phone number is on a list other scammers use, and you become an easy target.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Leak?
If you believe the leak has victimized you, there are quite a few steps you can take to protect yourself. Some phones will automatically notify you if a call is a scam. If you feel that you may have fallen for a phishing attack, particular kinds of software exist to search your device for malware, alerting you if your data is on an unauthorized site. People primarily use these softwares on computers and laptops, but you can also download apps that do much of the same thing to protect your handheld devices.