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Men Face Lawsuit for Phishing and Spamming on Facebook

Facebook has filed a lawsuit against three men, claiming that they allegedly employed phishing tactics towards compromising its user accounts, which they later used to send spam.

The social networking site filed the suit on December 14, 2009 in San Jose, California (USA) federal court against defendants Ryan Shimeall, Philip Porembski and Jeremi Fisher. The suit also charges the companies to which the defendants are associated. These are Harm, iMedia Online Services and Choko Systems. Cnet News published this on December 15, 2009.

The suit accuses the defendants of executing no less than 4 spam crusades during the past two years. The latest one in the past 3 months has been responsible for generating almost three-fourth of the total junk e-mails on the Facebook.

This last campaign involved spam, presenting certain colon cleanser, fraudulent messages claiming to display the recipient's video and an invitation for recipients to join a "Google Campaign" for making money. A user clicking the spam links is characteristically redirected onto different marketing websites till he lands on a web-page asking him to enter his Facebook login details.

However, it is yet to be known how exactly the login details of a Facebook user were obtained so that his friends could be sent spam. According to the lawsuit, Facebook has to expend $5,000 to deal with the issue.

The lawsuit, according to Facebook, has claimed under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, the California Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, the California Anti-Phishing Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Meanwhile, suing spammers isn't new for Facebook. Recently, in October 2009, Facebook emerged as the winner in a similar kind of lawsuit against Sanford Wallace, the alleged "Spam King." Facebook gained a judgment of $711 Million against the Spam King for his illegal operations on the social-networking website. However, Wallace might not be financially so sound to fully compensate for the damages, reported MX Logic on December 16, 2009.

Moreover, besides Facebook, Google and Microsoft too plan to engage lawyers to fight against cybercriminals, indicating that the IT litigation might experience a shift in policy.

Related article: Man Sues and Wins against ISP for Spamming Mail

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