On Thursday, Facebook announced a lawsuit against MobiBurn, OakSmart Technologies, and its founder Fatih Haltas in the High Court of Justice in London.
They claim that MobiBurn refused to fully comply with an audit request that was prompted by MobiBurn use of malware to collect user data from Facebook and other social media companies.
Facebook specifically claims that MobiBurn paid third-party app developers to install the malicious Software Development Kit (SDK) into their apps. And when the malware apps were installed on a device, MobiBurn was able to collect information on Facebook users, including name, time zone, email address, and gender.
Facebook is crediting its data abuse bounty program with informing the company of the violations.
Nikolay Holper, doing business as Nakrutka
Facebook is also suing developer Nikolay Holper also known as Nakrutka for violating its policies by operating a “fake engagement service” to sell fake “likes” on Instagram. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, San Francisco division.
Holper operated under various websites including “Instagram.by” and “Nakrutka.cc.” The Nakruta website encouraged users to “cheat Instagram.”
Holper’s sites allowed users to purchase followers, likes, comments, and views for about $17 a transaction.
Nakrutka, “used a network of bots and automation software to distribute fake likes, comments, views, and followers on Instagram,” according to the Facebook statement.
“He used different websites to sell fake engagement services to Instagram users. We previously disabled accounts associated with Holper and his service, formally warned him that he was in violation of our Terms, and sent a cease and desist letter,” the statement added.
Facebook is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Holper interacting with Facebook and Instagram again. They also request compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages for trademark infringement and $100,000 in statutory damages for infringing on the domain name.
The social media company says this is the first time it has pursued a lawsuit against a U.K. app developer. It is also seeking an audit of the company’s systems to see what data was accessed and what payments were made and received by developers.
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