A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

AOL sues Internet con artists under new anti-phishing law

[JURIST] America Online (AOL) [corporate website] has filed three lawsuits [complaints; press release] in federal court in Virginia against international groups that allegedly stole information from AOL users, violating Virgina's anti-"phishing" law, the first of its kind in the US. The company, based in Dulles, is seeking $18 million in damages from the groups, claiming that thirty people violated the Virginia Computer Crimes Act [text], which was updated in 2005 to include anti-phishing provisions [VA AG press release] by sending thousands of e-mails and setting up websites supposedly from AOL customer service.

AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham said it is unclear exactly how many members were victims of the phishing [backgrounder] scheme, which fooled AOL members into disclosing screen names, passwords, and financial information. The groups named in the lawsuit are allegedly part of a multinational network spanning the United States, Germany, and Romania. AOL also brings claims under federal computer fraud law and the Lanham Act [text], governing trademark protection. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.