I have a Microsoft account and today I got a Security alert saying "We think that someone else might have accessed your account" and had to change my password. When I checked my account activity it said there was an automatic sync in Algeria and Mexico and China yesterday. Does this mean it is likely people have downloaded copies of all my emails? I am worried that every single one of my emails has been downloaded.

This is what I see in my account activity in my Microsoft account:

Yesterday 8:31 PM
Automatic Sync
Protocol: IMAP
Account alias:
Time: Yesterday 8:31 PM
Approximate location: Mexico
Type: Successful sync
You've secured your account since this activity occurred.
Learn about more ways you can protect your account.

I asked this question in the Microsoft forum but haven't had any replies.

  • Welcome , can you add the source of the email ?
    – GAD3R
    Oct 26, 2016 at 7:52
  • Same here, today. "Automatic sync" via SMTP from Brazil on Nov 1; "Successful sign-in" from Mexico 3 hours ago; legit email (from MS servers and to two of my backup email addresses) and SMS from Microsoft 1 hour ago. Interestingly, I used quite a strong password that I don't use for anything else, as well as two-factor authentication. I use this account only for Skype and MS-related purposes (no incoming email) - still, it makes you wonder. It seems that the last login from Mexico used my Skype name, but that does not explain the SMTP sync from Brazil. What have you learnt about your incident?
    – bers
    Nov 23, 2016 at 21:21
  • This occurred to my account and it ended up being a vulnerability with Skype. I found this article to be helpful. theverge.com/2016/11/8/13561024/… Feb 19, 2017 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


From what I can see, yes your emails have been compromised. If you look at the log you notice that it has synchronised IMAP - This suggests that the client has downloaded your email settings, folders and all of the emails contained In those folders.

If you didn't know already IMAP is a popular protocol for incoming emails.

  • Although we cannot be 100% sure of what was downloaded unless MS hands over the transfer logs (they won't), always assume the bad guys did their worst after security was compromised. They're are not criminally dumb criminals, after all. Oct 26, 2016 at 13:52
  • @Mindwin Yes this is true, hence why I said it suggests they downloaded everything - because why wouldn't they? Oct 26, 2016 at 13:55

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