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Facebook sues Bangkok man for ‘cloaking’ software

Sean Kelly

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Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California PHOTO: AP

Facebook is suing a Bangkok resident for developing and marketing software that ‘cheats’ the social network’s advertising review process to enable users to post dangerous ads to other users.

Facebook explained that Mr Basant Gajjar, an Indian-American software architect living in the Thai capital, developed a “cloaking” technique in software that hides the real content of advertisements, while showing the user something else, essentially tricking Facebook’s review process from identifying inappropriate ads. His business, apparently thriving, is called ‘LeadCloak’.

The lawsuit outlined how Gajjars cloaking software allowed links to ads promoting the sale of sensationalised diet pills, cryptocurrency scams, even fake news relating to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Facebook said in the lawsuit that ‘cloaking’ is a malicious technique that impairs ad review systems by concealing the nature of the website linked to an ad.

Gajjar’s unregistered business LeadCloak has offered cloaking services and avoided discovery for well over four years since 2016, targeting firms including WordPress, Shopify, Alphabet Google, and Oath, according to Facebook.

“This suit will also further our efforts to identify Leadcloak’s customers and take additional enforcement actions against them”.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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