After I sign in to my Outlook account, I am seeing a strange string of letters and numbers below my profile ID, for example (see also attached screenshot):

My account name: 

Screenshot of Outlook.com

With regard to this issue, my questions are:

  1. What is the meaning of this script/string? Is it some kind of certificate or encryption key to my account?

  2. Is it indication that my account has been hacked?

Also, if you look closer at the screenshot I attached, you will note that my Outlook account no longer displays the green-lock icon (at top left of the screen), which normally signal a secure connection.

I have very strong feeling that this account has been hacked.

I contacted MS support team and multiple security experts, but no one has an explanation for what this is.

  • That looks like a uuid. This is shown when windows system goes bong and give you uuid than the correctly mapped user name. HOWEVER. looking at the browser https indicator, this may indicate you log into phishing sites. A malware inside your system can really do this kind of tricks. – mootmoot Aug 3 '16 at 13:04

This does appear strange. It is something that the technical support people should know how to fix. (maybe they don't know, but they should)

  • It is possible that it was a setting in your account with this string. If that is the case you can change it back, and that is a clue your account was hacked.

  • It is possible this is due to a bug in their software, in which case this does not raise a direct security concern.

The icon change on the top left corner is not a serious issue, but obviously a completely green icon is preferable.

  • Have you tried from a different browser, or from a different computer?

  • Have you tried accessing from your smartphone on a completely separated connection?

These might raise helpful clues. Sometimes a plugin can alter the page contents, but still this seems very strange. It does seem more likely to be a bug at Microsoft.

If you suspect the account was compromised, (i.e. your password got out or something is logging all your actions and passwords) then you should:

  1. Change your password.

  2. If you think a virus has caused the password to get out, then a professional machine wipe is the safest option. However, sometimes a password is accidentally leaked by phishing (entering your Microsoft password on a Microsoft-look-alike-fake-site), in which case you would not need a machine wipe.

  3. Using 2-factor authentication is a real boost in your security, but not a silver bullet.

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