Feeds

MS sues 200 for spamming

Trawling for names

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Microsoft has filed eight lawsuits in the US against nearly 200 accused spammers, saying that the defendants had used false information to conceal themselves, and had deceived consumers. Each of the lawsuits "names" at least 20 unidentified defendants, as well as one John Hites, identified by anti-spam campaigners at Spamhaus as one of the world's ten most prolific spammers.

Microsoft is seeking injunctions against each defendant, using the CAN-Spam act, and could be awarded up to $1m per spammer in civil fines. THe company said it hopes to unmask the anonymous spammers through the legal discovery process.

Microsoft filed its first suits against unsolicited mailers in June last year (2003), and is now involved in more than 80 such cases around the world. So far, its legal actions have resulted in four settlements, two defendants being declared bankrupt and five judgments for Microsoft.

"We're raising the stakes, we're making it more expensive for spammers," Tim Cranton, a senior lawyer at Microsoft said. "A lot of the established spammers are realizing that it's much harder to operate."

Although any efforts made in the fight against spammers are to be applauded, anyone with an e-mail account will testify that the effect on the amount of spam arriving in inboxes has been zero. Frank Gorman, former legal counsel for the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, told The Washington Times: "It's not going to make an impact by itself, but you have to approach it from every angle."

In January this year, Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, outlined a three-step programme to eliminate spam within two years: he proposed a system whereby senders would have to pay a digital stamp fee if recipients considered the mail to be spam.

The company has also introduced a whitelist scheme that will make its Hotmail database available to third parties willing to pay $20k to avoid the spam filters, provided they comply with Microsoft's guidelines. ®

Related stories

MS opens Hotmail to bulk mailers
Security is our biggest ever challenge Gates
MS takes fight to the spammers
EC draws line in spam sand
Chairman Bill's magic spam cure a revenue opportunity?
We'll kill spam in two years Gates

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.