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Microsoft Informs Outlook Users of Hack

As of now, it remains undisclosed exactly how many users were affected by the breach

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Microsoft's building.
The office building of Microsoft. Pixabay

Coming to terms with a hacking and data breach case, Microsoft is reaching out to some users informing them of an Outlook.com hack which exposed data sent over emails to hackers who kept accessing their accounts between January 1 to March 28.

Founded in 1996, Outlook.com is a web-based suite of webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring services developed and offered by Microsoft.

In an email being sent to affected users, Microsoft claims that apart from the content of the emails including attachments, the hackers could have possibly viewed account email addresses, folder names and subject lines of the mails sent and received, The Verge reported on Saturday.

“Our data indicates that account-related information (but not the content of any e-mails) could have been viewed, but Microsoft has no indication why that information was viewed or how it may have been used,” the report quoted the company as saying in its email.

The case came into notice when the software giant discovered that credentials of a support agent were compromised for its web mail service which led to unauthorised access into some accounts.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

“We addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators’ access,” the report quoted a Microsoft spokesperson as saying.

Even though the software giant ensures that no login details or other personal information were stolen by the hackers, the company is recommending that affected users reset their passwords.

“Please be assured that Microsoft takes data protection very seriously and has engaged its internal security and privacy teams in the investigation and resolution of the issue, as well as additional hardening of systems and processes to prevent such recurrence,” the email adds.

Also Read- Tech Giant Google Sharing Data With US Forces Raises Concerns

As of now, it remains undisclosed exactly how many users were affected by the breach.

This security incident comes weeks after a former security researcher pled guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo servers for a number of weeks in January 2017, allowing European hackers to access pre-release versions of Windows. (IANS)

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Software Giant Microsoft Aims to be ‘Carbon Negative’ by 2030

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft has set an ambitious goal to reduce its carbon footprint, saying that the company will become carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050, it will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted to date.

At an event at its headquarters on Thursday, the company announced a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove its carbon footprint.

“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

“By 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050. Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975,” Smith said in the presence of CEO Satya Nadella, CFO Amy Hood and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa.

The company also announced a new initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies.

“Beginning next year, the company will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain,” it said.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

The human activity has released more than 2 trillion metric tonne of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere since the start of the First Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s.

Over three-quarters of this is carbon dioxide, with most of this carbon emitted since the mid-1950s. This is more carbon than nature can re-absorb, and every year, humanity pumps more than 50 billion metric tons of additional greenhouse gases into the air.

Also Read: Drinking Low-Fat Milk Can Help Slow Down Biological Aging: Researchers

“We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. We are launching an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain,” said Microsoft.

“By 2025, we will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy, meaning that we will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 per cent of carbon emitting electricity consumed by all our data centers, buildings, and campuses,” the tech giant emphasized.

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030. (IANS)