AOL sues big phishing organizations

America Online (AOL) has filed three civil lawsuits against major phishing "gangs," seeking US$18 million from the groups, the company said Tuesday.

AOL, using a Virginia antiphishing law adopted in July 2005, filed the lawsuits against several phishing groups in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria. The lawsuits also cite federal law focusing on trademark and antispam rules.

AOL filed suit against 30 unnamed phishing organizations, many of them outside the U.S., said Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman. Through the lawsuits, AOL hopes to identify the phishing operations, and the company expects the number of defendants will grow as the lawsuit moves forward, he said.

"Our intention is to bust them apart and put them out of business, which is good for AOL and good for the Internet at large," he said.

The company accuses several phishing organizations of sending AOL and CompuServe members e-mail messages attempting to trick and lure them to fake Web sites intended to look like the sites of legitimate companies. The phishing scams try to fool the Web users into giving up their personal information, such as AOL screen names, passwords and credit card information.

The scams targeted customers' personal information linked to several companies, including AOL, the company said.

The money AOL is seeking would address the effect phishing groups have had on the company, not individual AOL users. While the Virginia antiphishing law does not allow private citizens to sue phishing organizations, the monetary award would "directly" benefit AOL users because the company would use the money to fight phishing and other Internet scams, Graham said.

AOL has collected tens of thousands of examples of e-mail messages transmitted by what the company called phishing "gangs," it said. The company did not identify the "gangs" or give their locations. A telephone message seeking further information from an AOL representative was not immediately returned.

Phishing scams are a serious problem, AOL said. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is warning of widespread phishing e-mail scans as tax filing deadlines near. The Anti-Phishing Working Group found nearly 50,000 phishing Web sites created last year; more than 7,000 in December alone, the company noted.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?