Hackers were able to obtain access to Microsoft-managed email systems by compromising a support technician’s credentials. According to a TechCrunch story about the breach,
Microsoft has confirmed to TechCrunch that a certain “limited” number of people who use web email services managed by Microsoft — which cover services like @msn.com and @hotmail.com — had their accounts compromised.
“We addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators’ access,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in an email.
According to an email Microsoft has sent out to affected users (the reader who tipped us off got his late Friday evening), malicious hackers were potentially able to access an affected user’s e-mail address, folder names, the subject lines of e-mails, and the names of other e-mail addresses the user communicates with — “but not the content of any e-mails or attachments,” nor — it seems — login credentials like passwords.