Microsoft sues site to stop certification test leaks

Microsoft says a help site called pass4sure.com has been selling answers to its certification tests.

A federal court in Connecticut has ordered a certification test help-site to stop publishing Microsoft-related materials after the software maker sued the company, claiming that it was selling actual certification exam questions.

In a preliminary injunction signed Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Warren Eginton ordered Pass4sure.com and its parent company, Freetech Services, to stop distributing the materials.

Pass4sure sells "high quality IT exam practice questions and answers," according to its Web site. The company promises a full refund to anyone who does not pass an IT exam on their first try after using its testing engine.

However, Microsoft says that the company is selling actual exam answers. Company investigators downloaded the Pass4sure practice exams for a variety of tests in early May and found that they were "identical or substantially similar" to Microsoft's own certification exams, Microsoft said in court filings.

Pass4sure sells questions for many certification tests, including those offered by Cisco Systems, Oracle and IBM. The tests cost between about US$80 and US$125.

These kinds of professional certifications are an important measurement of professional advancement amongst IT professionals and can translate into bigger salaries for those who earn them.

Although Pass4sure no longer lists Microsoft tests on its Web site, cached pages linking to dozens of tests can be foundGoogle cache on Google.com.

The company did not return messages seeking comment for this story. Microsoft declined to comment on this story.

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Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

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