Microsoft steps up phishing crackdown

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Microsoft steps up phishing crackdown

Software giant files charges across Europe and the Middle East.

Microsoft has filed legal charges against 129 phishing operations throughout Europe and the Middle East. 

Nancy Anderson, deputy general counsel at the software giant, revealed the legal offensive during an EU conference on identity theft.

Microsoft launched its Global Phishing Enforcement Initiative in March, a legal campaign targeted at phishing operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The actions have ranged in severity from €1,000 ($1,675) settlements with teenaged phishers, to a 30-month jail term handed out to a Turkish man convicted of phishing.

The initiative targets phishing operations that use Hotmail and MSN services to lure users to fake websites designed to trick them into handing over bank account information, credit card numbers and passwords.

The PhishTank project published a report earlier this month estimating that the UK, Germany and Russia accounted for 11 percent of phishing operations worldwide.

The report also found that Barclays Bank in the UK was the third most popular phishing target on the Web last month, behind EBay and PayPal.
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