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Microsoft Tackling Internet Phishing Scams
Microsoft Files 117 Lawsuits Against Phishing Scammers

Microsoft has filed the largest number of lawsuits by a corporation against Internet phishing scammers. The software giant filed a record breaking 117 lawsuits against Web site operators who knowingly engage in or facilitate phishing scams to be carried out. Such scams involve getting users to reveal sensitive information, usually related to personal finances.

For example, an e-mail that appears in virtually every way to be a legitimate message from an Internet site which has, for instance, a person's credit card information on file, may in fact be fraudulent. A popular phishing scam involves sending users fallacious e-mails from companies like AOL, eBay, or financial institutions, that ask users to reenter sensitive information, claiming that a database was corrupted and such information was lost. Phishing scams have become increasingly more sophisticated, employing personal information that makes recipients lower their guard, thinking it is a friendly message from a co-worker or friend.

Microsoft named the defendants in the case as "John Doe," when it filed the case in U.S. District Court in Washington State. Attorneys for the software giant are trying to uncover the biggest operators who service phishers. "We must work together to stop these con artists from misusing the Internet as a tool for fraud," said Aaron Kornblum, Internet safety enforcement attorney at Microsoft.

Microsoft was joined by officials from the Federal Trade Commission and the National Consumers League. The organizations are using Friday's April Fool's Day to raise awareness among consumers relating to Internet schemes. Many companies have taken a proactive approach independently. AOL, for example, regularly reminds users that its company's policy forbids solicitation of financial information from registered users.

"Phishing is more than a dirty trick played on unsuspecting consumers, it's a serious identity theft problem," said Susan Grant, director of the National Consumers League's National Fraud Information Center and Internet Fraud Watch program.

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

I also recieved this "sweepstakes" notification and don't know who I should report it to.

EVERYONE PLEASE BEWARE. THERE IS A SCAM THAT I RECEIVED IN MY EMAILS ON NOV 14, 2007, AND IT STATED THAT MICROSOFT AND AOL WOULD LIKE TO AWARD ME 1,000,000.00 GREAT BRITTAIN POUNDS. IT ASKS YOU TO RESPOND AND I WAS TOLD IT IS FRAUDULENT. IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEA HOW I COULD CONTACT MICROSOFT TO TELL THEM AND GIVE THEM THE EMAIL INFO I GOT THAT WOULD BE GREAT!! MRS MROSS jrmross@mchsi.com




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