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January 24, 2020
CBI Security Alert: Microsoft Breach

Microsoft recently announced a data breach that affected their databases in the cloud. It is estimated that 250 million records were exposed in this incident.

In December 2019, for less than a month, database records from five servers were visible from the Microsoft cloud instance with no password requirements that carried customer support cases and logs for 14 years.

Although it is still unknown what type of personal information has been compromised, we have to assume that since customer service cases were compromised, they would carry information about the opened case, location, IP address, etc.

PII (personally identifiable information), as confirmed by Microsoft, has been redacted via automated process.

What you can do/watch out for:

As Microsoft is starting to notify affected customers, it is very important to stay alert and aware of malicious actors. Although there has been no evidence of payment data and/or passwords leaked, you should still be mindful and expect a wave of phishing attempts from various bad actors. If you notice emails and/or phone calls regarding how to “address” this breach, be very careful about clicking links and attempting to remedy and protect your information. Such events are an easy platform for bad actors to extract information for unsuspecting users.

Our best advice and approach for an everyday user is to not click any links in emails received regarding this topic, especially if they request that you reset your passwords and provide account information. Due to the compromised information, the phishing emails may contain enough of your data to trick you into thinking this is a legitimate email from Microsoft.

5 ways to protect yourself against phishing scams:

  1. Never install or allow any remote access to your computer. (e.g. TeamViewer)
  2. Do not click on any links directly in emails, rather open a new browser session and go to the link in question directly.
  3. Always examine the URL closely for minor typos, similar naming conventions, etc.
  4. Watch out for phone scams pretending to be calling from Microsoft support. Look up the company phone number directly on Microsoft website and tell them that you will call them back on that number.
  5. If you are not 100% sure who the sender is, DO NOT OPEN THE EMAIL!
About the Author
David Mamikonyan | CBI
David Mamikonyan
VP | Architecture, Implementation & Managed Security Services
David Mamikonyan leads CBI's highly skilled engineering practice and is responsible for our complete integration team. He brings advanced technical expertise in cyber security analysis, design, and implementation. David works with global senior leadership teams to assess and recommend security technologies, architectures, network and IT controls.
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