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By | John Leyden 23rd November 2006 16:26

MS reels in a few stray phish

129 lawsuits

Microsoft has initiated 129 lawsuits against phishing fraudsters in EMEA as part of a wider campaign against online fraud.

Nancy Anderson, deputy general counsel at the software giant told an EU conference on ID theft in Brussels, said that the mixture of civil and criminal proceedings initiated by Microsoft had already borne fruit with a two and a half year sentence against a crook in Turkey. Anderson's comments gave an indication of the progress of Redmond's Global Phishing Enforcement Initiative, which the software giant launched in March. Turkey has become something of the focus of Microsoft's enforcement efforts in EMEA since then with 50 of 97 criminal charges focused on suspected fraudsters in the country.

The 32 civil lawsuits are been brought against ne'er do well teenagers who used either email scams or malware in an attempt to steal login credentials for online banking accounts. Most of these are likely to be settled out of court. More than half (18) of these cases involve UK teenagers.

Analyst group Gartner estimates that losses to banks from phishing scams will reach $2.8bn this year. ®

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