In a lawsuit filed yesterday, Facebook is accusing a Hong Kong-based company of infecting individuals with malware in order to hijack their Facebook ad accounts and run malicious advertisements at their expense.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media company filed the legal documentation in a San Francisco federal court against ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd., a company that, according to the complaint, offers advertising and affiliate marketing services to businesses that are interested in reaching an audience of Facebook users. Additionally, Facebook sued two individuals: Wuhan, China-based software developer Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao, a marketing director at Guangzhou HongYi Technology Company Ltd., an affiliate company of ILikeAd.
Facebook, which seeks injunctive relief and financial restitution and damages, claims the defendants used various websites to promote browser software that contained a malicious plug-in or browser extension. This malware is capable of finding and taking over users' Facebook ad accounts, allegedly allowing ILikeAd to use the compromised accounts to purchase advertisements for counterfeit goods and male enhancement and diet pills. The lawsuit further alleges that Cong programmed malware to disable Facebook users' account security notifications so the compromise would go unnoticed.
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