Facebook, Washington State Sue Alleged Clickjacker

Facebook security offered more details on yesterday's announcement that it was teaming up with the attorney general's office in the state of Washington to take on scams on the social network.

Facebook security offered more details on yesterday’s announcement that it was teaming up with the attorney general’s office in the state of Washington to take on scams on the social network.

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and Facebook announced dual lawsuits today against the co-owners of Adscend Media, an ad network that allegedly engages in clickjacking schemes to bait users of the social network into unwittingly surrendering personal information, signing up for expensive services, and spreading links to their friends.

The lawsuit by the attorney general’s office asks the court to enjoin the defendants from future violations, to award damages, and to impose civil penalties, costs, and fees.

A note from Facebook security offered some quotes from today’s press conference.

McKenna said:

We don’t like schemes that illegally trick Facebook users into giving up personal information or paying for unwanted subscription services through spam. 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.

Washington Assistant Attorney General Paula Selis, head of the office’s Consumer Protection High-Tech Unit:

The natural reaction is to wonder why anyone would click on these links. But, unfortunately they do, and at one point, Adscend spam lined the defendants’ pockets with up to $1.2 million per month.

Facebook Lead Litigation Counsel Craig Clark:

Facebook’s security professionals have made tremendous strides against this particular form of attack, and we are intent on eradicating it completely. We will continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure that scammers do not profit from misusing Facebook’s services.

Facebook General Counsel Ted Ullyot said:

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.

Readers: Would you like to see more states’ attorneys general team up with Facebook to go after scammers and spammers?