Online superstore Amazon.com
has teamed up with
to sue a Canadian spamming ring that
allegedly spoofed Hotmail and Amazon.com e-mail addresses to trick
The joint federal suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in
Seattle, accused Gold Disk Canada of forging the MSN Hotmail service
and the Amazon.com name to send millions of phishing
e-mails. The suit also named Barry Head and his two sons Eric and
Matthew as co-defendants.
In addition to the joint suit with Microsoft, Amazon.com also filed
three separate lawsuits against three unidentified defendants, accusing
them of using phishing schemes to defraud its customers.
Microsoft also filed a new and separate lawsuit against Leonid
Radvinsky and his Chicago-based businesses Activsoft and
Cybertania, along with several additional unidentified defendants.
The Microsoft suit alleges that Radvinsky sent millions of illegal and
deceptive e-mail messages to MSN Hotmail customers, including messages
that were falsely labeled as coming from Amazon.com.
Phishing attacks targeting the financial services and e-commerce
sectors have skyrocketed
this year with losses estimated in the range of $1.2
The collaboration between Microsoft and Amazon.com underscores the
industry’s seriousness about dealing with the phishing scourge, said
Microsoft lead counsel Brad Smith.
“Today’s alliance should be yet
another wake-up call for spammers and phishers that the industry is
teaming up, pooling resources and sharing investigative information to
put them out of business,” Smith said in a statement.
The two companies also announced plans to collaborate to test new
technology to make it more difficult to deliver fraudulent e-mail to