How does Microsoft know that someone else is using my Hotmail account?

Anonymous June 9, 2014
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Some days ago someone hacked my Hotmail. I received an email from Microsoft that someone else was using my account. How do they know this?
And then a few hours later it was impossible for me to go into my own email account. I needed to fill in a form to prove that the account was mine and then I needed to reset my password.
Did someone else really did into my account?
I always login from my own computer
How do they know? And how can I know who was it?

  1. Susendeep D
    June 11, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Well,you were lucky enough that you've access to your account.Many people loose their account due to hacking.I hope you'd set a strong and complex password for your account so that it would be very much impossible for anyone to hack into your account.You can use any good password manager to do so.

  2. Michael
    June 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I have also experienced the same security problems on my website. I received emails with a macro document from Microsoft word. I checked on Google to see if one of the executable programs was a virus and discovered that other people were getting the same emails as well. So I wrote back to the person who was trying to hack my website to keep off. I purged his emails so that they will never come to my emails again. There is somehow you allowed them access.

  3. Oron Joffe
    June 9, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    As Bruce explains, Microsoft don't actually know who logged on. What they know is that your account was accessed from a different computer (or more accurately, computer on a different network, probably at a different location).

    There are plenty of reasons why someone would try to access your account from a different location. It may be legitimate (you're travelling and trying to read your mail at the airport), accidental (someone tried to log on with your username, which is similar to theirs) or intentional. All that Microsoft can do is block access and warn you. If they didn't, there's a reasonable chance they'd be letting in a hacker.

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you, well it look likes I will never know then. ;)

  4. Bruce E
    June 9, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    The notification was most likely triggered because of the IP address(es) accessing the account. If you are always logging in on your computer, you would be connecting with a specific range of IP addresses that are assigned to your ISP. If you never log on from another location or ISP, it shows up as an anomaly when the IP address accessing the account is assigned to an ISP in China, for example.

    As far as knowing if someone really did hack into or otherwise access your account, since you were no longer able to log into the account, someone else most likely changed your password. So, based on this alone, it is a fair assessment to say that someone did access your email account. But if the message from MS said that they were blocking all access to the account until ownership was proven it muddies the waters as nothing can be inferred either way.

    There is no real way for you to know who it was. Microsoft may be able to use their log files to try to trace it back to a specific IP address as the source, but it may not be reliable depending on what steps were taken to hide the trail.

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks for the quick and clear response

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