Facebook sought and won a multimillion judgment against a Canadian man who hacked into the profiles of its members and used his companies to spam them with sexually explicit messages.
Adam Guerbuez, who runs Atlantis Blue Capital and Ballervision.com, was ordered to pay $873 million in damages by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel. Guerbuez was also ordered never to access Facebook.
Guerbuez did not dispute the charges. By hacking into the profiles to wage the spam campaign, Guerbuez violated the U.S. federal CAN-SPAM Act, Fogel said. He hacked into the accounts by using a variety of phishing attacks. Through his two firms, Guerbuez sent more than four million messages to Facebook users touting porn sites and male enhancement pills.
Max Kelly, Facebook's director of security, said finding and prosecuting spammers will be one way to deter future issues. Facebook is already updating its systems to try to prevent hackers from using Guerbuez's methods, Kelly said.
"It's unlikely that Geurbez and Atlantis Blue Capital could ever honor the judgment rendered against them (though we will certainly collect everything we can)," Kelly wrote in a post on the Facebook blog. "But we are confident that this award represents a powerful deterrent to anyone and everyone who would seek to abuse Facebook and its users."