Facebook wins $711 million in spam lawsuit – but will it ever see the money?

Graham Cluley

There should be some smiles at Facebook today, after it was announced that they had been awarded $711.2m in damages against notorious spammer Sanford “Spamford” Wallace.

San Jose Federal Court ordered Wallace to pay up after Facebook complained that he had phished login details from thousands of members and then used their hacked accounts to bombard other users with thousands of messages promoting “cool sites”, that in reality tried to sell products or make money through web hits.

Wallace doesn’t seem to have much respect for the legal system, however. He failed to show up for the hearing, causing Judge Jeremy Gorgel to order that he be prosecuted for criminal contempt of court (which, if Wallace is found guilty, carries a jail sentence).

We’ve covered some of Sanford Wallace’s brushes with the law before, and…

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.