Microsoft Insists That No-IP 'Outage' Was Due To A 'Technical Error' Rather Than Gross Abuse Of Legal Process
from the not-so-sure-that's-true... dept
Earlier today, we wrote about a ridiculous situation in which Microsoft was able to convince a judge to let it seize a bunch of popular domains from No-IP.com, the popular dynamic DNS provider, routing all their traffic through Microsoft servers, which were unable to handle the load, taking down a whole bunch of websites. Microsoft claimed that this was all part of a process of going after a few malware providers, though No-IP points out that Microsoft could have easily contacted them and the company’s fraud and abuse team would have cut off those malware providers.
A little while ago, Microsoft PR emailed over the following, somewhat questionable claim from David Finn, the company’s Executive Director and Associate General Counsel, Digital Crimes Unit, in which he claims that all of that collateral damage was merely a “technical error” and it’s all good now:
?Yesterday morning, Microsoft took steps to disrupt a cyber-attack that surreptitiously installed malware on millions of devices without their owners? knowledge through the abuse of No-IP, an Internet solutions service. Due to a technical error, however, some customers whose devices were not infected by the malware experienced a temporary loss of service. As of 6 a.m. Pacific time today, all service was restored. We regret any inconvenience these customers experienced.?
I’m sorry, but that excuse just doesn’t cut it, given the legal documents that we posted, which clearly showed that Microsoft made No-IP’s parent company, Vitalwerks, out to be a part of a criminal conspiracy. The judge specifically said:
There is good cause to believe that, unless the Defendant Vitalwerks is restrained and enjoined by Order of this Court, immediate and irreparable harm will result from its ongoing violations the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125) and the common law of negligence. The evidence set forth in Microsoft?s TRO Motion, and the accompanying declarations and exhibits, demonstrate that Microsoft is likely to prevail on its claim that this Defendant has engaged in violations of the foregoing laws through one or more of the following:
a. Leasing to Malware Defendants No-IP sub-domains containing Microsoft?s protected marks; and
b. Negligently enabling Malware Defendants to participate in illegal acts, and failing to take sufficiently corrective action to stop and prevent the abuse of its services, all of which harms Microsoft, Microsoft?s customers, and the general public.
That’s not a “technical error.” That’s Microsoft blatantly making an extreme claim that convinced a judge to hand over a whole bunch of domain names without any kind of due process or adversarial hearing. While Microsoft may have then had a technical error on top of that, what kicked this off was a very, very big legal error.