Facebook and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna announced the filing of dual lawsuits against Adscend Media, an ad network, which has allegedly developed and encouraged the “spread of spam through misleading and deceptive tactics,” including clickjacking.
Facebook defines clickjacking in its help center in the following manner:
Certain malicious websites contain code that can make your browser take action without your knowledge or consent. For example. clicking on a link on one of these websites might cause the website to be posted to your Facebook profile (timeline). Never click strange links, even if they are from friends. Also be sure to notify the person sending the link if you see something suspicious.
“We don’t ‘like’ schemes that illegally trick Facebook users into giving up personal information or paying for unwanted subscription services through spam,” McKenna says. “We applaud Facebook for devoting significant technical and legal resources to finding and stopping scams as soon as possible – and often before they even start. We’re proud to join forces in order to protect Washington consumers.”
You see what he did there with the “like”?
“Security is an arms race, and that’s why Facebook is committed to constantly improving our consumer safeguards while pursuing and supporting civil and criminal consequences for bad actors,” says Facebook General Counsel Ted Ullyot.
“The natural reaction is to wonder why anyone would click on these links,” says Assistant Attorney General Paula Selis. “But, unfortunately they do, and at one point Adscend spam lined the defendants’ pockets with up to $1.2 million a month.”
“Facebook’s security professionals have made tremendous strides against this particular form of attack and we are intent on eradicating it completely,” said Craig Clark, Lead Litigation Counsel at Facebook. “We will continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure that scammers do not profit from misusing Facebook’s services.”
Facebook’s suit was filed against Adscend and its owners in federal court in the Northern District of California. The AG’s suit alleging violation of the CAN-SPAM act, Washington State’s Commercial Electronic Mail Act and Washintgon State’s Consumer Protection Act, was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Adscend is based in Delaware.