GoDaddy+Microsoft 365 and how an email was compromised for about a day

In two hours I have a C-suite meeting and one of the topics would be our internal stack and whether we stay with Microsoft+GoDaddy or we migrate.

This article is my objective summary of:

  1. How Microsoft+GoDaddy keep an email account compromised for more than a day
  2. What is difficult with the stack of Microsoft+GoDaddy
  3. Why can’t we just migrate to Microsoft without GoDaddy
  4. Why would I like to stop using Microsoft

I hope other companies that have found themselves in this situation will be able to make the right decision given my experience.

Note: This article is as of 2021-08-17. Things may change. I hope they will.

Why GoDaddy?

When the project was initially formed the domain {} was bought from GoDaddy. Nothing for and nothing against. Since then the emails were added at GoDaddy.

Why GoDaddy+Microsoft 365?

GoDaddy offers Microsoft 365. You can purchase an Email+Office that will give you the email that is a Microsoft 365 email.

Why not migrate out of GoDaddy and using only Microsoft?

As we onboard more people in the team we identified that keeping both GoDaddy and Microsoft would be difficult. I tried to migrate us only to a Microsoft where the emails and office and everything will come from Microsoft and we won’t be handling two services.

After spending about a day on this it turned out it was not possible. I even have a ticket created from GoDaddy support that should have been resolved in 72 hours, but almost a month later I still don’t have any notification if it is resolved or not. The issue is that I as an admin can not redirect the emails to be received at while we are migrating. This means there will be a moment of time where people will not receive emails. I also can not export the user’s emails. I have to log in with every user, but I don’t know their passwords, so they should reset their passwords and share them with me and I should export their mailboxes through a desktop outlook application and then import them again. Which would easily take days in communication and sync. Yes, there is no “export all emails” and “import all emails”. It should be done by hand, manually, for every user in sync with the user. There simply is no such tool available from Microsoft in the GoDaddy+Microsoft setup.

When migrating from GoDaddy+Microsoft 365 to Microsoft you should manually log in with each user and manually export and import each and every mailbox and manually sync with the users to give you their password, because as admin you can not change the password. This could take days, if not weeks for a team.

Because of this we’ve decided to postpone this migration.

How did an email get compromised?

During my regular security audit I found out that I don’t know who has access to admin@{ourdomain}.com. This is the admin email. I have access to it. A couple of colleagues have access to it. But I don’t know who has access to it.

Naturally I tried to reset the password for this account.

The way I tried to reset the password is

  1. Go to GoDaddy.
  2. Log in with my account username@{} and try to change the password for admin@{}.
  3. The site returned that the password was successfully changed.
  4. Then I asked my colleague who has access to admin@{} through the Desktop version of Outlook to see if he still has access.
  5. He still did. It did not matter that I changed the password.

I have changed the password for admin@{}, but users that do not know the new password still have access to the email through the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook

The implications here are huge. This means that I don’t know who has access to admin@{} and there is no way I could prevent them from accessing it.

The only way would be for them to willingly sign out and try to sign in again. But this is not going to happen as I now consider the email to be compromised. Since the moment I am auditing this email to the moment I know who exactly has access to the email I consider this email to be compromised. Probably nobody else had access to it.

But Microsoft and GoDaddy do not provide me with the tools to check who has access and to prevent people from accessing it, even after I changed the password.

Can GoDaddy support help?

It should be mentioned that GoDaddy documentation says that it might take up to 30 minutes for this password change to be reflected. I am ok with this. Not the best security, but I am ok.

I have waited for 120 minutes before getting in touch with GoDaddy support.

After spending a total of 4 hours with 3 different agents of GoDaddy we could not resolve the issue. What I found out is the following:

  1. The only solution GoDaddy support agents could advise me to is to ask my colleagues to sign out of admin@{}. I could not explain to them that I don’t know who has access and I want to prevent any access to this email. They kept insisting I should ask people to sign out and they could not understand that I consider the email to be compromised and we should act like this. I am attaching the transcript of the communication as this was unbelievable.
  2. The second thing I found out is that after you spend more that 5-10 minutes with the “award winning support” of GoDaddy the agents start to ask you to restart your browser. One of the agents asked me to restart my computer in order for the change of password of admin@{} to take effect. The reason I assume they are doing this is so that the chat session between me and them stops. In this way the next time I try to get in touch with support I am talking with a new agent.

GoDaddy could not help. We’ve tried all kinds of things. Waiting for 7 hours, resetting the password of admin@{} while I am logged in as admin@{} and while logged in as username@{}. Non of this help.

7 hours in and the email admin@{}, hosted on GoDaddy with Microsoft 365 software is still compromised.

Can Microsoft help?

7 hours in, I tried to get Microsoft support. I was reluctant until now because I knew what the outcome would be, but nevertheless I tried.

10 minutes after calling Microsoft I got a response from an Agent. The Agent knew a lot of things and was actively trying to help me.

First thing he asked me was to visit I did and this redirects to

The agent was a little surprised. I have a Microsoft 365 account but I did not have access to and the tools that this portal is providing. I only had access the GoDaddy admin interface which we already found out was not working and the password could not be reset from it. It just did not work

What I had access to is “”. This seems to be the admin interface for the Exchange server. I am familiar with the Exchange server and I tried to explain to the agent that there is no way to reset the password from the Exchange admin interface.

We spend 20-30 minutes looking through all the options of the Exchange admin interface, but there are no tools there to manage the user admin@{}

When you buy Microsoft 365 from GoDaddy you get access to where you can manage the Exchange server, but you do not get access to You can not reset the password for a mailbox from the, but only through, but you don’t have access to

Can we workaround this in the Exchange admin interface?

We tried. Me and the support. There are options to add additional roles to the Organization Management from the Exchange admin server. We tried it for about 20 minutes, but we could not.

Can we workaround this from Azure?

The Microsoft support agent asked me to go to I had a lot of hope. In the azure interface we could again see the users in the Active Directory. When we tried to change the password for admin@{} from the interface we got an error that we don’t have the license to change the password. I will later attach a screenshot here.

How did we resolve it?

More than 24 hours after the moment I made the audit and considered the admin@{} compromised I got a response from Microsoft support. I had to go to

This is an article that specifically says “When working to secure a compromised Microsoft 365 account, sign out of all sessions and devices.”

This article was sent to me from Microsoft support. This means that GoDaddy was there before, they even wrote an article. None of the 3 support agents knew about this article. I did not know about this article.

The solutions was to visit and to click “Sign out everywhere”

Does this really resolve it?

In a GoDaddy+Microsoft setup to reset the password of username_to_reset@{} while we are logged in as username@{} we must:

  1. Get access to username_to_reset@{}
  2. Reset the password for the username_to_reset@{} and receive a new email at username_to_reset@{} and follow the instructions of how to reset the password. Note that this reset of password does not in any way prevent the users that have access to username_to_reset@{} to continue to access it.
  3. Then sign in at GoDaddy with the new password for username_to_reset@{} and go to How do you get to from the GoDaddy site? – I don’t know.
  4. After arriving at you must click “Sign out everywhere”

My conclusion

I only need to change the password of a mailbox. The setup Microsoft+GoDaddy does not provide me with the tools to adequately manage users and mailboxes. I don’t know what else I would be missing down the road, but if password reset is 24 hours to find out how to do it with 4 support agents, I guess other things will be even more difficult.

I could live on any stack and tools. If my team was not using that much Microsoft tools I would close all Microsoft+GoDaddy inboxes and tools and move out of this stack as it is not proving productive for the things I need to do to administer this. But it is a team effort. If the team is more productive with the tools Microsoft is providing then we just have to factor the cost of having a compromised email for 24 hours as the cost of business.

But there was support, wasn’t there

Yes, I spend a total of 6 hours on the line with 4 different support agents. There was support, but support does not solve this.

I don’t like AWS, but I’ve been a client of AWS for 7 years and I’ve managed some complex infrastructure. I have 0 support requests with AWS for 7 years. This is how support should look like. 0 minutes. I spend ~6 hours in total for a GoDaddy+Microsoft 365 support with 3 agents from GoDaddy and 1 from Microsoft to resolve my case. No wonder I am kind of reluctant to deploy anything on Microsoft in the future.