November 02, 2009

Social Networking and Social Media Websites See Rise In Account Hacking

Social media and social networking websites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are increasingly being targeted by hackers.  As the user base of these services grow, hackers have become more and more interested in obtaining personal information and data from the users of these services.  Often, the hackers are anonymous spammers that are looking to leverage a user's friend list to advertise dubious goods or services or to phish for bank account passwords, but oftentimes the hackers are related to or acquaintences of the victim.

Users of social networking websites do have a remedy for the hacking of their accounts.  The Stored Communications Act, located at 18 U.S.C. § 2701, prohibits one from intentionally accessing, without authorization, a facility through which an electronic service is provided, or intentionally exceeding authorization to access that facility, for the purposes of obtaining, altering, or preventing authorized access to an electronic communication.  Under the Stored Communications Act, a victim of social media hacking can file a civil lawsuit to recover equitable relief, actual damages, and, in the case of a willful or intentional hack, punitive damages.  Further, an aggrieved user may be able to recover their costs and attorneys fees under § 2707 of the Act.  

Thus, you may be entitled to damages if your Facebook account has been hacked.  If you believe that you have been the victim of hacking on a social media or social networking site, please contact one of our expert Internet attorneys today for a free consultation.


Just as I finished writing this post, a Twitter connection sent me a direct message exclaiming that they make money from Google and that I should learn how to make money from Google as well by heading to their link. Twitter account hacking is becoming more and more prevalent.

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