Microsoft sues five alleged click-fraud scammers

Lawsuit attempts to fight so-called 'maladvertising.'

Microsoft filed lawsuits against five companies Thursday, accusing them of new form of scam it dubs "maladvertising." Maladvertising is the use of deceptive advertisements to trick victims into installing software on their computers. The lawsuit comes days after the New York times was tricked into serving "maladvertisments."

The company is suing DirectAd Solutions, Soft Solutions,, and ITmeter, saying that these companies have used ads to "distribute malicious software or present deceptive websites that peddled scareware to unsuspecting Internet users," according to a blog posting by Tim Cranton, associate general counsel with Microsoft.

Microsoft frequently sues advertising fraudsters. In July it sued Funmobile Ltd. for its alleged "spim" or IM spam. In June, it sued three people for click-fraud.

I applaud Microsoft for using its deep pockets and massive legal guns to tackle malware. The only way to stomp this stuff out will be to take away its financial incentive.

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