Kalynh Ngo/Vietnamese

SAN FRANCISCO, California (NV) – A group of four Vietnamese, residing in Hanoi, has just been sued by Facebook, an American social media and technology company, for online scam.

Facebook’s lawsuit on the federal court website in California. (Image: US District Court, Northern California)

Ms. Jessica Romero, Facebook’s litigation director, sent out notification about the lawsuit on the company’s Facebook homepage on Tuesday, June 29.

With an online scam described as “cookie theft,” this group of people hacked into the accounts of advertising and marketing agencies to run unauthorized ads. The four defendants used the victims’ bank accounts to pay for illegal advertisements, amounting to $36 million.

The petition is 35 pages long, with code number Case 3: 21-cv-05002 of the United States federal court for Northern California, stating that the plaintiff is Facebook and the defendant consists of four defendants: More Nguyen (also known as More Huu Nguyen), Le Khang, Nguyen Quoc Bao, and Pham Huu Dung (also known as “Dung Ma”). These four people all reside in Hanoi, Vietnam.

According to the lawsuit, from October 2020 to the latest June of this year, these four Vietnamese held multiple Facebook accounts to run ads worth tens of millions of dollars. Specifically, these people steal auto-generated temporary data on the computers of advertising agency employees, who have access to the company’s large client accounts.

Then, according to Ms. Romero, the four “invited” the victims to install a fake application written by defendant Le Khang on December 28, 2020, called “Ads Manager.” This app was renamed to “Ads Manager for Facebook” on January 7, 2021, under the email address [email protected]. In the lawsuit, Facebook calls this a malicious application.

The malicious application interface “Ads Manager for Facebook” (Image: Taken from Facebook’s lawsuit)

Once the app is installed on the victims’ Facebook accounts, all their account login information is stolen. The defendant used this information to run private Facebook ads without the victim’s knowledge. Naturally, the advertising proceeds, in this case at least $36 million, automatically went into the defendants’ pockets.

The app, “Ad Manager for Facebook,” was removed by the Google Play Store, after it was downloaded about 10,000 times by users between December 2020 and May 2021, Romero said.

How to cheat?

Computer engineer Hoang Ngoc Dieu, a resident of Sydney, Australia, told Nguoi Viet daily that he knew about this a day ago, and understood the operating principle of this group of online scammers was “very common.”

“The essence of this is that it uses Facebook’s platform to run an ad from which they trick users into going to a website to install an app,” he said. This app is on Google Plays.”

According to Facebook’s lawsuit, after victims install the malicious app, they are required to declare their Facebook login information and authenticate Facebook access. A user’s login information is transferred to Facebook’s computers, where a “cookie” with data related to that person’s personal information is stored. This is when the defendants, from the malicious application they wrote, will steal that information, transfer it to a computer in their possession with the IP address of 45.76.183.4.

As an example highlighted in the lawsuit, on January 21, defendants tricked a Facebook account holder in India who had access to a business management account to install the “Ads Manager for Facebook,” then manipulated this person’s Facebook login and business management account to run ads.

According to Mr. Hoang Ngoc Dieu, Google’s operating mechanism is not strict.

“A lot of people install ‘ghost’ apps.” Google is very easy for people to write down and put on Google Plays, consumers just install it,” said Mr. Dieu.

On some websites, products run by this group of Vietnamese people run illegal ads such as dragonwtee88.com, delphine.family, biglovetee.com, coolprintusal1.com, lion-print.net. The ads run directly on users’ Facebook and Instagram accounts around the world, including in the United States, Europe, and Vietnam, the lawsuit says.

For example, on January 22, defendants hacked into a victim’s account to post an unauthorized advertisement and send it to all social media users in the United States. When users “click” on the ad, they will be directed to the website dragonwtee88.com, which is a website selling T-shirts managed by defendant More Nguyen.

Evidence Facebook has about the lavish lives of the four defendants. (Image: Facebook’s lawsuit)

Facebook’s lawsuit clearly states that the four Vietnamese defendants committed online fraud to gain illicit wealth and cause damage to the Facebook company. Specifically, from 2020 to 2021, these people use the proceeds of illegal advertising to organize many luxury parties, buy luxury cars, travel in business class and many other expensive expenses. other treatment. Publicly, without hiding, they display and show off many playful pictures and assets acquired on each person’s social network. And that’s why Facebook’s lawsuit is full of all that evidence.

According to Mr. Dieu, when these four Vietnamese defendants wrote an application and then tried to entice Facebook customers to install it, they violated the comprehensiveness and transparency of the regulations for Facebook users. .

“Based on this platform, Facebook sued those four people, because they violated the privacy and security of users,” Dieu said.

In the lawsuit filed in court, Facebook also stated the above reason.

‘Unreasonable complaint’

However, regarding the legal and procedural nature of the lawsuit, Mr. Dieu commented that “this is a bit unreasonable and confusing.”

He said: “If a court in the US sues four citizens in Vietnam, I find it a bit difficult. I think it’s just for fun. This has to go through the foreign ministries of the two countries. If the Vietnamese side agrees to hand over the other four people to the US for trial, that will happen.”

In addition, he said, the Facebook company’s lawsuit leans towards the meaning of “prestige” and does not have a “reasonable” nature.

“For Facebook, $36 million is just a speck of dust. I think they sued for reputational reasons, I personally think so. If this case breaks out, people who use Facebook to play or run ads will doubt the security of this social network. This lawsuit is for Facebook to regain their prestige and reputation,” added Mr. Dieu.

In terms of stakeholders, Mr. Dieu said that “must mention both Google and consumers”, not just Facebook.

“It has another aspect that is user error, because users automatically install an application that is not under Facebook’s control,” Dieu said.

The Facebook company clearly states in the lawsuit that it is asking for a trial to hear the case. [đ.d.]

***

Author contact: [email protected]

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more