Feeds

MS sues ringtone firm over smut-punting IM spam scam

SPIM phishers feel the wrath of Redmond's lawyers

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Microsoft has set its legal attack dogs on a Hong Kong distributor of mobile ringtones, over allegations that it has flooded Microsoft Live Messenger users with deceptive, fraudulent IM spam messages ultimately aimed at promoting online smut.

Funmobile has allegedly sent thousands of spam messages via instant messages (SPIM) over the last four months or so. The case, which seeks an injunction and damages, was filed in Seattle last month, but the name of the targeted firm was only announced by Microsoft on Thursday. Mobilefunster, Funmobile's US subsidiary, is also named in the same lawsuit.

The alleged scam begins with IM messages, supposedly from a user's friend or acquaintance, inviting prospective marks to check out a link. The linked website asks for a prospective mark's IM login credentials. This marks the approach as a variant on phishing scams more usually associated with tricking the unwary into handing over online banking usernames and passwords.

Those that responded to the IM phish ruse were usually redirected to an adult website. In other cases, a supposed social networking community for Windows Live Messenger users, that in reality had nothing to do with Microsoft's service.

Meanwhile, the contacts of the compromised IM account are allegedly harvested for fresh scam targets.

Microsoft hopes its legal action will discourage similar privacy-invading scams in future. More details on the alleged scam and Microsoft response can be found in a posting on a Microsoft legal issues blog here. The complaint against Funmobile can be found here (PDF). ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.