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  1. #1
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    Microsoft account由ecent Activity alarm (?)

    I've had a Microsoft account (Hotmail) for years. Lately, I've started using Skydrive for a few documents. Today, I learned of the "Recent Activity" feature, and I looked into that feature this morning. Alarms went off when I started down the list of recent successful logins on my account. Here's why I'm concerned.

    First, here's my setup. I use a MacBook and the Safari browser. The MacBook has a Bootcamp partition that runs Windows 7. I also have a Gateway laptop that runs Win 7; I rarely use it, but I leave it on all the time. My wife and I each have iPads. I use an Apple Time Capsule as my wireless router, and my ISP is Comcast.

    Okay悠 changed my Microsoft account password late yesterday to make it stronger. It now uses 16 characters. This morning, noticed there's been a successful login at something like 2:30 in the morning. I looked at the details and saw the login was from a Windows machine; it gave an IP address, but location was unknown. I immediately changed my password again. I was away from home most of today. When I returned home, I logged into my account and looked at the recent activity. I saw several that had occurred at various times throughout the day. I looked most closely at one that had occurred shortly before I logged in that last time. This time, it showed the login had occurred from a Windows machine, Exchange Active Sync, and location in the United States. I looked more closely and found the location was "near" a specific address in Washington, DC. I looked up the address with Apple Maps, but I can't tell much from the fuzzy photo.

    So I'm curious. Should I assume this is the NSA looking at my activity? How can I find out more about this login? Should I be worried? How did this login occur after I'd changed my password? Or ... is this recent activity really nothing to worry about? Is it more like some of the alarms that go off when you run some of those computer cleaning apps?

  2. #2
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    Caesar,

    Wouldn't "Exchange Active Sync" be part of Microsoft Outlook email?

    Here's a link to wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchange_ActiveSync

    That makes it out to be a syncing program for email, contacts, calendar.
    It's apparently licensed to Novel, Lotus, IBM and Google.
    Do you use any of those?
    It's probably an automatic login for syncing one of you applications.

    Although Washington _DC_ is on the wrong coast to be Microsoft corporate, they likely have servers all over.

    If in doubt, you could:
    -turn off all your devices overnight and see in the morning if there was any activity
    -try to find all the synch options of all your applications, though the above is likely easier
    -run some scans for any any malware, just to be sure.....

    Good Luck!
    brino

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    For those interested, here's a link to the "Recent Activity" feature mentioned by the OP.

    https://account.live.com/activity
    Last edited by Browni; 2014-01-30 at 19:56.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar3 View Post
    I've had a Microsoft account (Hotmail) for years. Lately, I've started using Skydrive for a few documents. Today, I learned of the "Recent Activity" feature, and I looked into that feature this morning. Alarms went off when I started down the list of recent successful logins on my account. Here's why I'm concerned.

    First, here's my setup. I use a MacBook and the Safari browser. The MacBook has a Bootcamp partition that runs Windows 7. I also have a Gateway laptop that runs Win 7; I rarely use it, but I leave it on all the time. My wife and I each have iPads. I use an Apple Time Capsule as my wireless router, and my ISP is Comcast.

    Okay—I changed my Microsoft account password late yesterday to make it stronger. It now uses 16 characters. This morning, noticed there's been a successful login at something like 2:30 in the morning. I looked at the details and saw the login was from a Windows machine; it gave an IP address, but location was unknown. I immediately changed my password again. I was away from home most of today. When I returned home, I logged into my account and looked at the recent activity. I saw several that had occurred at various times throughout the day. I looked most closely at one that had occurred shortly before I logged in that last time. This time, it showed the login had occurred from a Windows machine, Exchange Active Sync, and location in the United States. I looked more closely and found the location was "near" a specific address in Washington, DC. I looked up the address with Apple Maps, but I can't tell much from the fuzzy photo.

    So I'm curious. Should I assume this is the NSA looking at my activity? How can I find out more about this login? Should I be worried? How did this login occur after I'd changed my password? Or ... is this recent activity really nothing to worry about? Is it more like some of the alarms that go off when you run some of those computer cleaning apps?
    Really, the question you should be asking is whether the IP in use was yours or not and disregard the often erroneous information about location. I believe it is very likely that is really was your email client, from within Windows, accessing your hotmail account and not someone else accessing it.

    Just to show how erroneous this is, checking my own recent activity shows me being 300 Km away from where I really am, but the IP is mine. They are just relying on a database that places my IP at some location associated with my provider, not where I really am.

    Take notice of the value of your IP and compare it with the IP shown in the activity list. If you use smartphones that access your email accounts, do not forget that will likely get different IPs, especially when you use them outside your local network.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  5. #5
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    All these well-informed responses have eased my troubled mind. Thanks to you all!

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