Microsoft takes IM phishers to court

By Justin Mann on
Microsoft has decided enough is enough when it comes to people abusing their IM service for phishing and spamming. The company filed a civil lawsuit yesterday against several companies and individuals, whom they claim are responsible for misusing IM services with the intention of stealing information.

The suit alleges that Funmobile, and its U.S. subsidiary Mobilefundster, uses instant messaging spam to deceive people into turning over sensitive information. This is done through IMs that appear to be coming from users’ contacts, which include links to phishing sites that mimic the look and feel of an outside service, or an official Microsoft support page. The company announced their efforts towards improving security in a recent blog posting, indicating they believe IM spamming and phishing is more than just a personal security problem, representing a threat to the utility of IM services in general.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has gone directly after online miscreants. They have been known in the past to pursue, through legal channels, manufacturers of malware, spyware and others who have capitalized on Windows security issues. Several times they have gone so far as to offer bounties for information about the developers of popular viruses, though much of that is largely for PR. Still, it is encouraging to see companies like Microsoft go after those deserve it once in a while.

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