Facebook has won a landmark court victory against spammers.

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the US District Court in San Jose, California has ordered spammers to pay the social-networking site hundreds of millions of pounds in damages, after they were found to be in breach of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act.

Canadian spammer Adam Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital were ordered to pay $873 million by the court. While this is a figure the website is unlikely to see, it does set a precedent for further spamming cases.

Exercise caution

IT security and control firm Sophos has commented on the news, with Carole Theriault, Senior Security Consultant at Sophos, saying:

"While Facebook will no doubt struggle to collect this huge amount of money, the enormity of this fine will, we hope, deter spammers from attempting to capitalise on the social-networking site's popularity to push their products.

She continues: "This kind of spam has grown in volume in recent months as cybercriminals have realised that social networking users can be more easily fooled into clicking on a link that appears to have come from a Facebook friend than if it arrived via regular email.

"While Facebook is taking steps to better protect its users, hackers will no doubt continue to seek out new vectors of attack - ultimately the onus is on the individual user to exercise caution when using the site and when clicking on unknown links."