Microsoft Takes on Overseas Phishers

Microsoft Takes on Overseas Phishers
Microsoft Takes on Overseas Phishers

Microsoft said on Monday that it would launch a global phishing enforcement program, beginning with the filing of over one hundred suits against phishers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 53 of these suits would be started by the end of the month, with at least 100 in progress by June of this year.

The company said it started its legal push overseas first because its investigations have uncovered the phishing problem is at its worst in these regions.

Last March, Microsoft filed 117 suits against John Doe defendants. It was later discovered that the defendants resided primarily in the regions being targeting in Monday's actions.

Microsoft Europe president Neil Holloway made the announcement as part of a technology debate hosted by the European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA), and cosponsored by Interpol in Brussels. He said that phishing undermines the consumer's trust in the Internet.

Others in attendance agreed with Holloway's assessment. "Phishing is a threat to all online industry stakeholders' efforts to increase the availability and take-up of online services," EuroISPA president and professor Michael Roter said.

"Hence, the partnerships that joint efforts between industry, policy-makers, law enforcement and consumers create and strengthen are really vital if our industry is to effectively counter this threat."

The first 53 suits would target phishers in Turkey, France, Spain, Morocco, the UK, Germany, Austria, Egypt and Sweden. At least 51 more would be filed by June, according to Microsoft's plans.

Over 4,700 phishing sites have been taken down as a result of Microsoft actions, and the company is investing money to make its products more phishing-resistant. For example, the company plans to make a new phishing filter one of the hallmark new features of Internet Explorer 7.