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Xbox Live Accounts of Microsoft Employees Hacked Using Social Engineering

Xbox Live accounts of Microsoft employees were breached via “several stringed social engineering techniques,” the company said.

Although the breach didn’t relate to a vulnerability in Microsoft’s systems, the company is investigating the incident by working with law enforcement and the companies used in the social engineering scheme. By obtaining social security numbers of the targeted employees, hackers were able social engineer other companies that require SSN for security validation.

Xbox Live Accounts of Microsoft Employees Hacked Using Social EngineeringSecurity researcher Brian Krebs, who detailed the social engineering method days earlier, was then targeted by cyber-criminals as he was assaulted by SWAT teams in his house following an anonymous 911 break-in report.

“We are aware that a group of attackers are using several stringed social engineering techniques to compromise the accounts of a handful of high-profile Xbox LIVE accounts held by current and former Microsoft employees,” reads a Microsoft statement. “We are actively working with law enforcement and other affected companies to disable this current method of attack and prevent its further use. Security is of critical importance to us and we are working every day to bring new forms of protection to our members.”

Pointing to several websites that use credit card reports and drivers’ licenses, Krebs might have been targeted by the same cyber-criminals who used the data to compromise the Xbox Live accounts.

Acknowledging that it does not use SSNs for security checks, Microsoft said that, by exploiting several security loopholes in third party companies, hackers were able to target high-profile Microsoft officials and break into their Xbox Live accounts.

“Microsoft does not collect or use Social Security numbers in its services, including Xbox LIVE Gamertags or Microsoft accounts,” according to Microsoft. “Attackers are targeting high-profile Microsoft employees by social engineering other companies that do use this data to intercept security proofs from Microsoft to compromise the accounts.”

As a precaution, Microsoft is directing users to its “Account Security” webpage, with tips on how to prevent account hacks.


About The Author

Security Researcher

Liviu Arsene is the proud owner of the secret to the fountain of never-ending energy. That’s what’s been helping him work his everything off as a passionate tech news editor for the past couple of years. He is the youngest and most restless member of the Bitdefender writer team and he covers mobile malware and security topics with fervor and a twist. His passions revolve around gadgets and technology, and he’s always ready to write about what’s hot and trendy out there in geek universe.

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