Microsoft hits 129 suspected phishers with lawsuits

Lawsuits fly as Windows maker applies pressure to internet scammers

Microsoft has brought 129 lawsuits against suspected phishing gangs and criminals in Europe and the Middle East.

Action by the company has already led to the imprisonment of one criminal in Turkey for two and a half years with four teenagers settling out of court.

"Sometimes we initiate our own legal action, but more importantly we work with law enforcement agencies," Nancy Anderson, deputy general counsel at the software company told Reuters.

According to media reports, 97 of the 129 lawsuits are criminal proceedings which Microsoft alongside other companies have passed information to law enforcement agencies.

Experts said that while the security industry was updating itself to fight off the threat, phishing might be here to stay.

"As long as these cyber criminals are able to find ways to hide their identities and locations, and as long as internet users are not updated with each and every new phishing technique, phishing is here to stay," said Raimund Genes Anti-malware chief technology officer at Trend Micro.

"Spammed phishing attacks have become notorious in 2006 as phishers continue their release of phishing email messages, primarily (and most worryingly) using financial brands," he added.

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