A new report by Spamhaus claims says Microsoft is now the fifth worst spam service ISP, earlier this month the software giant debuted the list at number 9. The spam tracking group reports Microsoft's live.com and livefilestore.com domains are frequently abused by spammers and scammers to redirect visitors to sites with fake pharmacy products, porn and Nigerian 419 scams. Spamhaus claims Microsoft knows about this and could easily make an end to the malicious activity on its network:
Although all networks claim to be anti-spam, some network executives factor revenue made from hosting known spam gangs into corporate policy decisions to continue to sell services to spam operations. Others simply decide that closing the holes in their end-user broadband systems that allow spammers access would be too costly to their bottom lines.
Richard Cox, Spamhaus's chief information officer, said spammers advertise the links at Microsoft's properties by the tens of thousands at a time, because they know anti-spam groups are unlikely to block Microsoft properties outright.
"We have been notifying Microsoft about this for some months now at a high level that the abuse at livefilestore.com we believe now exceeds any genuine use of that service that may exist," Cox said. He added that while Spamhaus has not yet listed any major Microsoft properties on its block list, it has listed a couple of smaller Microsoft domains to get their attention.
Cox said Yahoo! until earlier this week was listed high in the Top 10 list for the very same activity, but that the company quickly took steps to remove or shut down the offending domains.
"It should not be difficult for a company with Microsoft's resources to identify and mitigate that abuse in-house without any external input, but so far this has not happened," Cox said. "Microsoft's live.com system has for some time been supporting an illegal drug sales operation, and Microsoft has known this."