LOS ANGELES, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Social network Facebook said on Tuesday it has won an 873-million-U.S.-dollar judgment against a Canadian resident accused of sending more than 4 million bogus messages from members' profiles.
This was the largest fine to be delivered under federal anti-spam laws.
The Canadian resident, Adam Guerbuez, did not defend himself or show up in court. The order was signed Friday in San Jose by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel.
"We know where he is and where he lives and we're looking for him to execute the judgment," said Sam O'Rourke, Facebook's senior corporate counsel. "We have no illusions that we'll get 873 million dollars from this guy, but from what we can tell he has substantial resources. If he has 1 million dollars, we'll take 1 million dollars."
O'Rourke declined to say how the social networking site linked its spam to Guerbuez, but said this is not the last lawsuit Facebook will file. It is also investigating spam messages offering fake Macy's gift cards that showed up in members' profiles in October.
"We are very much intent on policing the site and making sure Facebook is not seen as a place for spammers to target," O'Rourke said.
Facebook sued Guerbuez and his business, Atlantis Blue Capital, which Facebook alleges is fictitious, in August, and accused him of sending more than 4 million spam messages in March and April.
According to Facebook's complaint, Guerbuez acquired logins and passwords of Facebook members, in some cases by luring them to phishing sites where they would unwittingly enter personal information, then used infected computers to automatically log into their Facebook profiles and pump out spam.
The messages advertised Web sites owned by Guerbuez and others that offered male enhancement drugs, among other products.
"There's a potential reputational harm (to Facebook) when users get annoyed or angry or embarrassed," O'Rourke said.
Social networks are rich targets for spammers because members believe they're getting messages from friends and are more likely to at least look at the spam, said Adam O'Donnell, the director of emerging technology at Cloudmark in San Francisco, which sells spam blocking software to several social networks.