Microsoft is listed fifth in the Top 10 list of the worst spam service ISPs compiled by Spamhaus.org.
Spammers are advertising links to sites that "peddle fake pharmacy products, porn, and Nigerian 419 scams" on Microsoft's Live.com and Livefilestore.com sites because they know that the Microsoft sites won't get blocked by antispam groups, writes Brian Krebs on his Security Fix Blog at the Washington Post.
Spamhaus has been alerting Microsoft to the problem for some time, but to no avail, Richard Cox, Spamhaus' chief information officer, told Krebs. Other security companies, including McAfee and Marshal, have also been warning about increases in spam and scams on Microsoft-hosted sites.
A Microsoft spokesman responded to a request for comment with this e-mailed statement:
Spam and other abuse scenarios are not Microsoft-specific. Microsoft offers Windows Live, a suite of software and services that provides opportunities for customers to post and share their own content through Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live SkyDrive, and other free services. As such, spammers have multiple avenues to target consumers with malicious activities. We take protecting our customers' security and privacy seriously and are continually working to improve their experiences while making industry-leading progress to mitigate such attacks through both oversight and technology advancements. Using Windows Live services for spam is explicitly prohibited by the terms of service, and Windows Live accounts that are found to be used by spammers are aggressively removed.
Interestingly, Verizon.com is listed at No. 9.