Facebook is suing a Toronto-based porn company and 17 people for allegedly trying to hack the social networking site for the personal information of its users.

According to an amended statement of claim filed by Facebook in San Jose, Calif., Istra Holdings Inc. — which does business online under the name SlickCash — and the other defendants attempted to access its servers more than 200,000 times in June. SlickCash offers advertising commissions to web publishers fordirectingsurfers to itscollection of adult sites.

"The defendants knowingly and without permission took, copied, or made use of, data from Facebook's proprietary computers and computer network," said the amended statement of claim, filed last Wednesday.

Facebook did not saywhat information was stolen. The company said the attacks caused it to incur costs of$5,000 US and that it intends toseek additionaldamages, saying its reputation had been "irreparably" harmed.

The lawsuit also names Brian Fabian and Josh Raskin, who work at Istra in Toronto, and Ming Wu of Markham, Ont. It also says there are 14 other defendants, but doesn't name them.It is unclear whether any have filed a statement of defence.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Facebook said the automated scripts used by the defendants to try and infiltrate the site resulted in error messages being generated.

"Each of these requests sought to direct Facebook's computers to send information on other Facebook users back to [the company's internet protocol] address," the statement of claim said.

"These requests for information from Facebook generated error messages and were detected as unauthorized attempts to access and harvest proprietary information."

Facebook initially filed the lawsuit in June, but filed an amendment in December after successfully getting court orders that forced internet service providers Rogers Communications Inc. and Look Communications Inc.to divulge subscriber information.

Facebook had asked both companies to turn over the information voluntarily, but they refused, court document show.

"We have a policy that we do not turn over customer information without a valid court order," Rogers spokeswoman Taanta Gupta toldthe Canadian Press.

"Those are the steps to balance privacy with the requirements of the law."

With files from the Canadian Press