Facebook takes on spammer, and wins $873 million

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

If you poke Adam Guerbuez on Facebook right now, chances are that he won’t respond. That’s because the Montreal-based spammer has just been landed with a stonking US $873 million judgement by a district court in San Jose, after sending more than 4 million spam messages to users of the Facebook system. Guerbuez sent messages promoting marijuana and sexual enhancement drugs.

According to Facebook, Guerbuez stole the username and password details of Facebook members, and then used infected computers under his control to automatically log into the profiles and spew out spam.

It’s a long shot, of course, that Facebook will ever get to see the enormous amount of money awarded to it – but what’s more important is will it deter other spammers from attempting to abuse the system in future?

Social networking spam has been on the rise this year as cybercriminals have realised that social…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.