Microsoft confiscates domains used to sell fraudulent Outlook accounts

Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit has taken control of numerous domains utilized by the Vietnamese criminal gang Storm-1152, which illicitly registered over 750 million counterfeit Outlook accounts and profited millions of dollars from their sale.

Storm-1152 is a critical supplier of services for cybercriminals, including fraudulent Outlook accounts and automatic CAPTCHA resolving services. The group manages unlawful websites and social media pages, vending counterfeit accounts and tools to bypass identity verification software on well-known technology platforms, as per Amy Hogan-Burney, general manager of Microsoft's digital crime division. She stated that these services reduce the time and effort needed by attackers to engage in illegal activities on the Internet.


According to Microsoft Threat Intelligence, several criminal groups involved in data pilfering and extortion procured accounts from Storm-1152 to launch their attacks, particularly such groups as Storm-0252, Storm-0455, and Octo Tempest (Scattered Spider).

Microsoft highlights that the attackers' actions inflicted damages reaching hundreds of millions of dollars.

After acquiring authorization from a New York court on December 7, Microsoft closed down numerous sites associated with Storm-1152:

  • - a platform selling fake Outlook accounts;
  • 1stCAPTCHA, AnyCAPTCHA, and NoneCAPTCHA - resources facilitating the creation of tools to circumvent CAPTCHA;
  • Communities on social media used to promote their services.

Additionally, the company filed a lawsuit against three individuals for their purported involvement in the criminal organization. The complaint alleges that the defendants developed and maintained code for the seized sites, and were also involved in producing tutorials on utilizing counterfeit Outlook accounts and providing customer assistance.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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