There's a chance a good number of your junk mail might originate from Microsoft's domains, according to a blog post by the Washington Post's Brian Krebs. Krebs quotes numbers from spam watchdog Spamhaus, which places Microsoft at number five on a top-10 list of worst spam Internet service providers. Microsoft allegedly entered the list in ninth place earlier this month and rapidly slid up.
According to Spamhaus, spammers are "abusing Microsoft's live.com and livefilestore.com properties to redirect visitors to sites that peddle fake pharmacy products, porn and Nigerian 419 scams." Richard Cox, the watchdog firm's Chief Information Officer, says spammers use Windows Live services because "they know anti-spam groups are unlikely to block Microsoft properties outright." He believes Microsoft should be able to resolve the problem on its own, but that hasn't happened yet.
In a statement to the Washington Post, Microsoft safety services chief John Scarrow stressed that spam and "other abuse scenarios" aren't specific to Microsoft. He added, "We . . . are continually working to improve [users'] experiences while making industry leading progress to mitigate such attacks through both oversight and technology advancements . . . Windows Live accounts that are found to be used by spammers are aggressively removed."