Judge kicks notorious spammer off Facebook

A federal judge has ordered a convicted spammer to stay away from Facebook, issuing a a temporary restraining order barring him and two other alleged spammers/

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A federal judge in San Jose, California, has ordered convicted spammer Sanford Wallace to stay away from Facebook.

Facebook sued Wallace and two other men last week in an effort to cut down on spam and phishing schemes on the social-networking site. On Monday, Judge Jeremy Fogel of the US District Court for the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order barring Wallace and two other alleged spammers, Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw, from accessing Facebook's network.

Wallace was served with notice of the lawsuit on Monday in Las Vegas, said Sam O’Rourke, senior litigation counsel with Facebook.

"Basically, he's not allowed to have any contact with our site or our physical location," he said. "Should Mr. Wallace choose to continue to spam us we can actually go out and have a bench warrant and try to have him arrested, so we think it's a pretty significant ruling."

In court filings, Facebook argues that these men gained access to legitimate Facebook accounts and then used them to spam the profile pages of the account holders' friends. Facebook allows users to post messages on the "Wall" of the profile pages of their friends.

The Facebook spam messages served two functions - they enticed users into visiting phishing Web sites where they could be tricked up into giving up their Facebook login credentials; they routed victims to commercial Web sites that paid the spammers for the traffic, Facebook said.

Wallace would entice users with typo-filled messages that had subjects such as "has anyone emailed youu to let you know your defauult image is diisplayed on dynafaces.com," or "I'm not sure if you know but your pix are all over bakescream ^dot^ com->you gotta see it," Facebook said.

Sometimes Wallace would get users to register on these sites and then try to log into Facebook with the same usernames and passwords, hoping the victims used the same credentials for both sites.

News of the lawsuit was first reported Friday by Inside Facebook, a Web site for Facebook developers.


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