Microsoft Lauds Massachusetts Attorney General for Spam Enforcement

BOSTON — May 11, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today praised Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly for filing a lawsuit against an Internet spam ring operating near Boston. The group is allegedly responsible for sending hundreds of millions of unwanted, deceptive spam messages each month in violation of both federal and state law.

The Massachusetts attorney general’s office filed suit against nine defendants, accusing them of sending illegal spam, as well as advertising and promoting illegitimate software, prescription drugs and mortgages. The primary target in this lawsuit is Leo Kuvayev, the alleged organizer of the ring.

The seven individuals and two companies named in the suit have operated from suburbs in Boston and Russia. They used domain names registered in Monaco, Australia and France and servers in China, Korea, Brazil and Taiwan.

“We applaud Attorney General Reilly for his strong leadership and sustained anti-spam efforts because spam is not just annoying, in this case, it’s illegal,” said Brad Smith, senior vice president, general counsel for Microsoft. “Spam can be devious, intentionally deceptive and is sometimes loaded with either viruses that crash computers or trickery designed to get you to give up your personal information.”

Microsoft’s Internet Safety Enforcement team helped in the investigation by gathering and providing evidence of the defendants’ high-volume, illegal spam campaigns. During a three-week period in mid-2004, MSN® Hotmail® “trap” accounts — open e-mail accounts Microsoft monitors to capture spam — received at least 45,000 messages suspected to have originated from the Internet spam ring.

Microsoft has previously collaborated with governments, law enforcement and industry partners to file lawsuits against spammers. The company has provided technical expertise to attorneys general in Washington state, New York, Texas, Florida and California to help bring legal action against cybercriminals.

Last year, Microsoft assisted Reilly in a spam lawsuit against the Florida-based company DC Enterprises. The lawsuit was the first state action filed under CAN-SPAM, the federal law protecting against unwanted spam.

Microsoft will continue supporting law enforcement efforts to stop cybercrime, the company is determined to help make the Internet safer for consumers.

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