Facebook announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Namecheap in Arizona, a provider of domain name registrars online, for refusing to cooperate in an investigation to find malicious domains that have been registered through its services. The social networking giant said that Namecheap impersonated its brand name and refused to share details about the owners of the suspicious domains. The malicious domain names were used to trick people into believing they are legitimate.
According to Christen Dubois, the Director and Associate General Counsel at Facebook, security experts at Facebook tracked down 45 suspicious Facebook lookalike domains which are registered via Namecheap. It’s said that Namecheap had the owners’ details hidden through its proxy service platform “Whoisguard.” Dubois also stated that lookalike domains were often used for fraud, phishing, and scams.
Commenting on the lawsuit, Dubois said, “We sent notices to Whoisguard between October 2018 and February 2020, and despite their obligation to provide information about these infringing domain names, they declined to cooperate. We regularly scan for domain names and apps that infringe our trademarks to protect people from abuse. We found that Namecheap’s proxy service, Whoisguard, registered or used 45 domain names that impersonated Facebook and our services, such as instagrambusinesshelp.com, facebo0k-login.com and whatsappdownload.site.”
“We don’t want people to be deceived by these web addresses, so we’ve taken legal action. We filed a similar lawsuit in October 2019 against OnlineNIC, another domain registrar, and its proxy service. Our goal is to create consequences for those who seek to do harm and we will continue to take legal action to protect people from domain name fraud and abuse,” Dubois added.
Facebook Sues NSO Group for Violating Computer Fraud
Earlier Facebook sued the Israel-based cyber intelligence company NSO Group for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. According to the lawsuit filed in the federal court, the NSO Group deployed its custom malware on around 1,400 WhatsApp installed mobile devices in April and May 2019. WhatsApp revealed that it discovered a vulnerability in its network system that allowed hackers to install spyware via an infected WhatsApp voice call. It stated that the spyware can exploit the mobile device, its calls, and texts; it activates the phone’s camera, microphone, and it is able to perform other malicious activities. The malicious spyware was developed by the NSO Group, according to Facebook.