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John Doe Lawsuits Filed Against Phishing Operators

Microsoft filed 117 "John Doe" lawsuits against phishing site operators in an effort to curtail the identity theft scams.

"We must work together to stop these con artists from misusing the Internet as a tool for fraud. Microsoft provides consumers with the information and technology that will help protect all of us from this pervasive and destructive threat, and has filed legal action today against some of these individuals," Aaron Kornblum, Internet safety enforcement attorney at Microsoft, said in a statement Thursday.

The lawsuits were filed in federal court in Seattle. The effort is similar to lawsuits against spammers that Microsoft filed a few years ago. Some of those cases named defendants, while others went after John Doe operations.

According to a Microsoft statement, the company hopes the sweep of lawsuits will help establish connections between phishing scams worldwide and uncover the largest-volume operators. If a few of the lawsuits are successful, they can also potentially scare other criminals from using the phishing tactic.

In addition to the lawsuits, Microsoft joined the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the National Consumers League in an anti-phishing education effort for consumers.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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