Using All the Tools at Our Disposal to Stop Spam Scams

Posted by John Scarrow
General Manager of Safety

Last week the Microsoft
Digital Crimes Unit
filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court under the
federal CAN-SPAM Act against the perpetrators of what we believe to be
one of the largest-ever spam attacks on Windows Live Hotmail. The
lawsuit –Microsoft Corporation v. Boris Mizhen, et al. – alleges
defendants engaged in an elaborate scheme to evade Microsoft’s filters
by abusing Microsoft’s Junk E-Mail Reporting Program (JMRP)
and Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) to send
vast quantities of spam each day. JMRP and SNDS are free services
designed to help protect Windows Live Hotmail customers from spam by
encouraging people to report it and to help improve our spam filters by
identifying legitimate mail as such.

In our lawsuit, we allege
that defendants opened millions of Hotmail e-mail accounts and hired
people to manually identify spam mails as legitimate mails in order to
trick Hotmail into classifying spam as legitimate mail. Such actions
undermine the measures we’ve put in place to protect people. We take
this abuse very seriously, and while Hotmail and our SmartScreen filter continue to work to block spam
from this identified scheme, we’ll keep investigating and pursuing spam
attacks to protect our network and our customers.

Spam filters have actually become quite sophisticated in detecting
spam and keeping it out of people’s inboxes. But when spam does get
through, it can be a delivery mechanism for nefarious scams and malware.
It costs businesses millions of dollars and consumers millions of hours
of hassle each year. That’s why Microsoft has long been aggressive in
combating spam to protect our customers, with years of investments in
one of the most effective filtering technologies out there – SmartScreen
– and an ongoing commitment to advancing effective legislation,
industry collaboration, education and, when necessary, enforcement
action to combat the problem.

If you’re interested in learning
more about protecting yourself from spam and scams, visit Microsoft
. To stay up to date on the latest from the Microsoft Digital
Crimes Unit, keep watching this blog or follow them on Facebook
and Twitter.