Microsoft files first spim lawsuit

17 Jul 2009

Microsoft has today filed its first lawsuit against a ‘spimmer’ or spammer who has been spamming Windows Live Messanger users by sending IM links and then launching phsishing attacks on their accounts.

The company in question, Funmobile Ltd, is a Hong Kong-based company owned by brothers Christian and Henrick Heilesen, and has been using the Windows Live Messenger client as an avenue to spam thousands of acount holders since March 2009.

On an official Microsoft blog, Tim Cranton, associate general counsel for internet safety enforcement at Microsoft, said that “the scheme is alleged to target customers with IMs that appear to come from the email address of a known friend or acquaintance, and invite the recipient to click on a link.”

Microsoft said that Messanger users who then clicked on the misleading IM were then asked for their username and password, which were then taken by FunMobile.

They were then redirected to various sites including one with adult content and fake sites posing as a social-networking service for Windows Live Messanger users.

“We allege the defendants collected the wrongfully obtained usernames and passwords and used them to access Microsoft’s proprietary systems and our customers’ accounts. They then ‘scraped’ or ‘harvested’ the contacts within each user’s account, and sent unsolicited bulk IMs to each of his or her contacts,” said Cranton.

You can find details fo the Microsoft Corporation v Funmobile et al on this PDF.

By Marie Boran