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SlickCash Settles With Facebook for $500K

SlickCash Settles With Facebook for $500K
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Jul 14, 2008 2:30 PM PDT    Text size: 
SAN JOSE, Calif. — SlickCash has settled a lawsuit brought on by Facebook, which alleged the adult affiliate program hacked into the social networking website’s servers.

The suit, which began as a John Doe suit naming 10 unnamed defendants, was settled for $500,000 in late April by parent company Istra Holdings Inc., according to court papers obtained by XBIZ.

SlickCash and several people associated with the site — including company officials Brian Fabian, Josh Raskin and Ming Wu — also agreed not to become members of Facebook for 10 years in the stipulated order and permanent injunction.

They also agreed not to pay third parties to access the site or introduce automated codes or scripts for 10 years.

The lawsuit, which was filed in San Jose, Calif., alleged the Canadian company tried to access the personal information of Facebook users.

Facebook alleged that for two weeks in June 2007 the defendants attempted to access Facebook’ servers at least 200,000 times for access to its friend-finder functionality.

According to the complaint, multiple pieces of information tie SlickCash and several of its employees to the unauthorized access attempts, including the fact that one of the suspect IP addresses was “assigned to a dedicated single server named slick17.”

Contact information associated with various IP addresses and servers also indicated a connection to SlickCash, according to Facebook.

The complaint alleged that the defendants violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act and breach of contract for alleged violations of Facebook’s terms of service.

Facebook alleged that the defendants used an automated script in an attempt to “harvest information from other Facebook users,” and “proprietary information belonging to Facebook.”

Facebook said the unauthorized access to the ISP responsible for administering the IP address from which the requests were sent, after which the ISP “blocked the offending IP address from accessing IP addresses associated with Facebook’s proprietary computer system,” but that blockage merely interrupted the unauthorized access attempts, which continued to occur from a different IP address.

“Facebook continued to detect similar unauthorized attempts to access its computer network and obtain its proprietary information originating from other IP addresses that upon information and belief originated from defendants,” Facebook said in the original complaint.

“As a direct and proximate result of the unauthorized access to Facebook’s proprietary computer network by the defendants. Facebook has incurred substantial damages in excess of $5,000,” Facebook said.

Facebook, with about 35 million users worldwide, allows members to post photos alongside personal information like a birth date, hometown, email address, phone number and workplace.

Attorneys at Seattle-based Perkins Coie, the law firm representing Facebook in the case, declined comment on the suit.

Representatives at SlickCash did not return emails to XBIZ at press time.

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