Social media giant Facebook Inc. filed a lawsuit Thursday against Hong Kong-based company ILikeAd Media International Co for allegedly using its advertising platform to distribute malware and Ad fraud.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California, claims that ILikeAd Media International was responsible for distributing malware into Facebook’s system using celebrities’ photos and bogus advertising links. According to Facebook, these malicious extensions enable the accused to compromise Facebook accounts and use those to advertise counterfeit goods and diet pills.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to keep people safe and combat abuse of our ad platform, Facebook filed suit in California today against one entity and two individuals for violating our Terms and Advertising Policies. The defendants deceived people into installing malware available on the internet. This malware then enabled the defendants to compromise people’s Facebook accounts and run deceptive ads promoting items such as counterfeit goods and diet pills,” Facebook said in a blog post published Thursday.
Along with the Hong Kong-based company, the social media platform also filed charges against software developer Chen Xiao Cong, who the company claimed to be the person who developed the malware, and marketer Huang Tao, who was responsible for the “distribution and installation of the malicious extension.”
“The suit seeks to hold accountable ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. and Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao for creating the malware, tricking people into installing it, compromising people’s Facebook accounts and then using people’s accounts to run deceptive ads,” the blog post continued.
This is not the first time that Facebook took legal actions against companies and individuals for allegedly abusing their platform and violating their Terms and Advertising Policies.
In March this year, the tech company sued two Ukrainian men, Gleb Sluchevsky and Andrey Gorbachov, for allegedly practicing years-long of the hacking scheme that baits users into installing malicious browser plugins. This was followed in August when Facebook took legal actions against two app developers, LionMobi and JediMobi, over alleged click injection fraud.
“To protect Facebook users and disrupt these types of schemes, we will continue our work to detect malicious behavior directed towards our platform and enforce against violations of our Terms and Policies. Creating real-world consequences for those who deceive users and engage in cloaking schemes is important in maintaining the integrity of our platform,” Facebook ensured in the blog post.