Feeds

MS sues ringtone firm over smut-punting IM spam scam

SPIM phishers feel the wrath of Redmond's lawyers

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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). ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.