Microsoft reports of settlement (pdf) with Funmobile, in which “Funmobile will refrain from “spimming” customers or contacts of Windows Live Messenger and will make a cash payment to Microsoft.” Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit last July filed a lawsuit alleging that Funmobile Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company had improperly sent instant messaging spam – or “spim” – to thousands of Live Messenger customers since March 2009. “Spim” – or instant messaging spam – attacks targeted victims with IMs that appear to come from the e-mail address of a friend or acquaintance and invite the recipient to click on a link. This can potentially allow “spimmers” to collect usernames and passwords and use them to access proprietary systems and customers’ accounts. Attackers can then “scrape” or “harvest” the contacts within a victim’s account and send unsolicited bulk IMs to each of those contacts. Such attacks on instant messaging services are more than just a nuisance; they are a threat to user privacy.