NY Attorney General Spitzer, Microsoft sue alleged spam network

Thursday, December 18th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. and New York's attorney general filed lawsuits Thursday against what they said was a spam ring responsible for sending billions of illegal e-mail messages.

The lawsuits, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, target Scott Richter, who has been identified as one of the world's most prolific senders of spam, or junk e-mail. They accuse Richter and ``accomplices'' of sending illegal spam in 35 countries and disguising their work to prevent irritated consumers from tracing the messages.

Microsoft and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer scheduled a news conference Thursday morning to announce the lawsuits.

Richter could not be immediately reached for comment, but he told The New York Times that the suits were baseless.

In a statement, Microsoft said the e-mail campaigns used common spam techniques such as forged sender names, false subject lines, fake server names, inaccurate and misrepresented sender addresses, or obscured transmission paths.

``Deceptive and illegal spam, like the kind we're attacking today, is overwhelming legitimate e-mail and threatening the promise and potential of the Internet for all of us,'' said Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at Microsoft.