Microsoft has filed nine more lawsuits against individuals and companies alleged to be involved in spam distribution.

The suits, all filed in the last month, are against eight individuals said to be behind spam campaigns for generic online drugs, T-shirts, software, pornography and dating services. The ninth lawsuit is against a Web hosting company that catered to the spammer community by claiming to be "bulletproof" or incapable of being shut down.

The lawsuits are just the latest salvo in a legal war on spammers by Microsoft and other ISPs. In March, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and Earthlink bandied together to sue 220 spammer in six different lawsuits. And in June, Microsoft filed eight lawsuits against alleged spammers who used Hotmail accounts and compromised PCs running its Windows software to send spam. Microsoft also won a $4 million judgement in July through its spamming lawsuits.

In the latest suits, Microsoft has also extended its reach to companies that sell services to spammers. In this case, it is against Levon Gillespie, who is described as a principal of "bulletproof" Web hosting company cheapbphosting.com, as well as "various John Doe" defendants who use Gillespie's services, the company said.

According to text Microsoft said was taken from the cheapbphosting.com site, Gillespie "caters for both established bulk email experts and companies that have not used bulk email before," using "China-based" servers "to ensure no problems arise from complaints generated by mail you send".

In its statement, Microsoft claimed that spam that originated on servers on the cheapbphosting.com was routed through compromised computers in Korea, Japan, Israel and the UK, as well as Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the US.

The e-mails contained forged or "spoofed" header information to make them look as if they came from Microsoft MSN and Hotmail accounts, the company said.

Microsoft said it has filed 70 lawsuits in the US, including the latest group, and is continuing to target spammers and those that support spamming.