Feeds

Malvertisers slapped by Microsoft lawsuits

Virus and scareware writer hunt

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has filed what are believed to be the first lawsuits designed to stop the growing practice of malvertising

The company has filed five suits against unnamed individuals who it has accused of posting malicious and deceptive code through ads on its MSN advertising network.

The suits allege that individuals using the business names Soft Solutions, Direct Ad, qiweroqw.com, ITmeter INC, and ote2008.info used malvertisements to distribute the malicious software or present deceptive websites that peddled scareware to unsuspecting online users.

Associate general counsel Tim Cranton said that although Microsoft doesn't know the names of the specific individuals involved, by filing the civil suits in a US court it hoped to uncover the individuals responsible and prevent them from continuing to deploy malvertising.

"We hope that today's filings will help deter malvertising in the future," Cranton said in a blog post. The documents were filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington.

Malvertising is a technique where code is placed in an online ad to either mislead the user or infect their computer. Code might re-direct the user to a site that advertises rogue security software, or scareware, or it might install malicious code such as a Trojan on the user's PC, either infecting it with a virus or leaving it open to remote control by a hacker.

Malvertising is a growing phenomenon. An ad appeared on the New York Times web site last weekend that claimed to offer a virus scan and then prompted the user to buy scareware to fix the problem.

Among the allegations in its various filings, Microsoft has claimed breach of contract in placement of ads on the MSN network, fraud, and trademark infringement.

You can read more about the case and download Microsoft's filings here.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.