According to web application security specialists, Facebook has filed a lawsuit against a Hong Kong-based marketing company and two Chinese individuals; in its complaint, the social media giant argues that these people abused Facebook’s advertising platform to distribute malware and fraudulent advertising.
The lawsuit was filed this week in California against the company ILikeAd Media International Company; in addition, the two accused Chinese citizens are employees of the firm: Chen Xiao Cong, software developer, and Huang Tao, marketing director.
Facebook argues that the defendants tricked thousands of users into installing malware on their systems that would have allowed them to compromise Facebook accounts and use them to advertise pirated products and diet pills, which is a violation of the Facebook Advertising Terms, mention web application security experts.
In addition, defendants would have committed other inappropriate practices, such as the use of celebrity-related misleading advertising to lure and trick users into clicking on malicious links and installing malware, this practice is known as ‘celeb bait’.
Facebook also stated that it has so far invested over $4M USD in refunds for account owners who were used to run this unauthorized advertising, and the company has helped secure the accounts compromised during this scheme of fraudulent advertising.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Facebook has filed a lawsuit in court against individuals or companies seeking to abuse the services provided by the company for malicious purposes. A couple of months ago, web application security specialists at the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) reported that Facebook sued Israeli security firm NSO Group for alleged hacking over a thousand smartphones through abuse of a secure messaging platform.
In August this year Facebook filed a lawsuit against LionMobi and JediMobi, two Android app developer firms of dubious reputation. In its lawsuit, the social media platform claimed that the apps created by these firms contained bots to click on Facebook ads. Previously two Ukrainian men were also accused of using test apps to distribute malware and steal data from millions of users of the social network.