Facebook spammer fined $1 billion for over 4 million posts

By on October 6, 2010, 3:10 PM
Earlier this year, Canadian spammer Adam Guerbuez lost a lawsuit in the US. Facebook alleged he spammed millions of accounts and in November 2008 he was ordered to pay $873 million. Guerbuez ignored the ruling and even mocked it publicly, referring to himself as the "$873 million man." In its court filings, Facebook said Guerbuez stole passwords through phishing attacks and used a botnet of hacked computers to access Facebook accounts without authorization, meaning he could be potentially subject to a criminal prosecution in addition to the civil judgment against him.

Facebook asked the Canadian court to uphold the US judgment against Guerbuez after he failed to show to fight the charges in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Last week, a Canadian court upheld the ruling and ordered him to pay, according to The Gazette and cnews. If we include some additional damages and the Canadian exchange rate, Guerbuez actually owes Facebook $1,068,928,721.46 for his four million spam posts on penis-enlargement, marijuana, and pornography. The spammer has actually filed for bankruptcy, so he's still not planning on paying. We doubt he's actually bankrupt, but at the same time 1 billion is a little much for a spam fine.

Guerbuez seems happy with the attention, however, noting that he would like to convert his notoriety into a book or movie deal. His blog shows him living the high life in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills, as well as dining out at expensive restaurants in Montreal. He's particularly proud of getting the "Largest Award Ever" under the CAN SPAM act in the Guiness Book of World Records for 2010.





User Comments: 26

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't think 1 billion for spamming is enough. The assets that are used up, the clogging of the Internet, the wasted time in tens of billions of dollars getting rid of that crap.

How about a 50 year jail sentence to go along with that 1 billion he's never going to pay anyway.

Leeky Leeky said:

I'm sorry but unless he actually has that sort of liquid assets its absolutely pointless!!

I'd be surprised if those on the planet with that sort of money available for a fine run past the hundreds. $1,000,000,000 is a massive amount!

Definitely agree with Tom above, it should be looooooong jail time - That he can repay!

Guest said:

Hang on a second...he talks about living the high life and just as he's being sued, he's all of a sudden broke and filing for bankruptcy? I guess that seems about right, lol. But I say "if you can't pay the fine, do the time."

As for a movie deal...that's just what I want to see...2 hours of a guy sitting behind the computer clicking away at the keyboard and then spending money...what a great movie that would turn out to be.

Lock him up and forget about him. Let him be popular with inmates like Bubba and Little John...I bet they'll love him ;)

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The punishment should be all his assets and jail time. If he can just file for protection than what good does it do. Hard time in prison is the right message to send.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Oh yes..Lets hand spammers 10 to 20 year jail sentences while real criminals only get a third of that. Get real people. You would send a guy to jail just because you got a few pieces of spam in your email? I guess that spam should rank up there with serial killings and pedophilia huh?

This guy should be getting his assets seized and should not be able to just declare bankruptcy I agree. How about the next time one of you get a speeding ticket you spend a few months in jail too.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Oh yes..Lets hand spammers 10 to 20 year jail sentences while real criminals only get a third of that. Get real people. You would send a guy to jail just because you got a few pieces of spam in your email? I guess that spam should rank up there with serial killings and pedophilia huh?

This guy should be getting his assets seized and should not be able to just declare bankruptcy I agree. How about the next time one of you get a speeding ticket you spend a few months in jail too.

Guest said:

@darkshadoe

You realize that this guy sent out more than a "few" pieces of spam. They should make him an example, but probably you are right about the jail time. Realistically 2 years of jail should be good i think. Spamming is a big problem, and this is a big opportunity to show the other spammers what the consequences could be. Either way no net effect on the amount of spam probably.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Guest said:

@darkshadoe

You realize that this guy sent out more than a "few" pieces of spam. They should make him an example, but probably you are right about the jail time. Realistically 2 years of jail should be good i think. Spamming is a big problem, and this is a big opportunity to show the other spammers what the consequences could be. Either way no net effect on the amount of spam probably.

I realize this guy sent out a sh*tload of spam. So at worst he made people use the Delete button on their email client a lot. I agree maybe a year AT MOST would fit the crime. My point is people need to get their heads out of their a$$es and use a little common sense. Its E-mail, not murder.

Leeky Leeky said:

I realize this guy sent out a sh*tload of spam. So at worst he made people use the Delete button on their email client a lot. I agree maybe a year AT MOST would fit the crime. My point is people need to get their heads out of their a$$es and use a little common sense. Its E-mail, not murder.

You think around $1,000,000,000 for a fine fine is any more sensible?

Granted it's email, but the message being sent out doesn't do much to deter those that do it really.

A crime is a crime, I think its wrong to categorise it alongside others really, as its not the same thing.

Secondly, everyone knows most governmental legal systems are outdated, and it's about time violent crimes saw longer punishments; that however is another story not related to this.

Sunny87 said:

This guy stole people's accounts that is fraud for the crime of fraud is prison, owing $1 Billion to your country is a crime, he obviously cannot pay this sum of money therefore must do time.

I think he is also arrogant as well with it all so in order to see that he doesn't do this again put him away for 15 years! I would love to see he's face when the hammer of judgment finally gets this guy.

I agree with the real criminals statement but this guy is a real criminal he has now cost the tax payers of America Billions thats money you earn and pay to your government for the so called well being of your country so therefore he has stolen from you and must be punished.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Reading the amount he owes: "...and 46 cents". Hilarious.

This dude should be put behind bars for sure.

tengeta tengeta said:

Sounds accurate given the fines for downloading music and movies illegally.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yep you're wrong in what you've done, please make the following payment $1,068,928,721.46

....Yeah right

Guest said:

How bout a frickin death sentence? Make his stupid smirk disappear. Literally!

Guest said:

We could make plenty of room for spammers if we let the potheads out of jail. Spammers cause more harm than a stoner, that's for damn sure.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Wow - that's pretty harsh guys. I don't know of any spammers that have taken lives, but plenty of potheads have caused deadly accidents while stoned. Not sure that I agree with a long prison sentence - as Darkshadoe mentioned there are much more punishment deserving crimes being committed that aren't getting appropriate attention.

A big fine, yes. Turning over his assets, yes. Jailtime, maybe a little.

Guest said:

scr*w the fine and smash his face?

Guest said:

hate spam much?

Guest said:

Cite one reference to back up that statement. You can't because it is an outright fabrication.

Part of the reason we still have stupid and wasteful anti-marijuana laws is because ignorant people like you continue to believe and repeat false information about the issue.

Ask any law enforcement officer how many violent pot-smokers he has ever had to subdue.

Then ask the same about belligerent drunks. There's your answer, dipstick.

Talk about a waste of resources.

Guest said:

Are you guys naive or what? The dude made money off of the spam attacks. People who bought the "products" from the links lose their credit card info to god knows who... If someone did this to your 70 year old mom you'd be upset, right? Well multiply it by the thousands he conned, add in the viruses he used to create the bot-net to perpetrate the attacks (which caused unknown damage to the PC's that were infected and the users businesses), and you've got yourself a thief, and we put plenty of people who steal less money in jail every year. So don't slap his wrist and call him a naughty boy, lock that bastard away for 20 years. He took those peoples money just the same as if he robbed their houses or held a gun to their head in an alleyway.

Tha General Tha General, TechSpot Paladin, said:

" Guerbuez seems happy with the attention, however, noting that he would like to convert his notoriety into a book or movie deal. His blog shows him living the high life in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills, as well as dining out at expensive restaurants in Montreal. He's particularly proud of getting the "Largest Award Ever" under the CAN SPAM act in the Guiness Book of World Records for 2010. "

Sounds like a *****.

Guest said:

oh yeah. facebook was soooooooo wrongfully attacked. pay them now! come on. on the weak fall for spam. come on seriously..... if you got a message that you won a billion dollars, would you believe it?

Guest said:

he must be the worst person in the history of the world. has anyone ever been sued for so much?? think about. its facebook who is the real evil here.

Guest said:

yeah it's not like compensated anyone who got scammed of this dude. they just pocketed 1 billion if you can afford to pay!

Guest said:

learn proper english before you post please.

KBerger said:

There's been a lot of complaining from the (now) former subscribers of Facebook, who had discovered their tons of spam to be actually coming through their Facebook accounts. Many have suspended their subscriptions; I read here the real answer.

Also, if the guy in question actually "hacked" other folks' accounts, was it due to his superfluous knowledge and fine skills, or, not unlikely, due to some poor realisation of security mechanisms on the portals in question?

I think the very idea behind Facebook is insecure. Cause, unless it be somebody you know for sure is your friend, there's no tellin who it is there offering his friendships... Then, if you have your friend's email, you won't need no Facebook to keep communicating.

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