ONE FM DJ's Facebook account hacked, being auctioned to cyber criminals
Once known as the Captain of Your Heart on the airwaves, his Facebook account is now being held captive by hackers.
ONE FM 91.3 DJ Simon Lim is believed to have been targeted by Vietnamese hackers, who have successfully taken over his verified Facebook account.
Speaking to The Straits Times on Wednesday (Feb 23), the 53-year-old said he is upset and distressed at the thought the cyber criminals have been able to steal his identity on social media.
"We don't validate our self-worth through social media and life goes on without it," he said.
"But to think that a criminal may get away with this scot-free is very distressing."
The account comes with a blue tick, which indicates a verified status of a public figure by Facebook and is a mark of authenticity.
Checks by ST found that the account is being auctioned to cyber criminals.
It is believed that if sold, the account will be used for other criminal activities such as to perpetuate scams and run advertisements for illicit sites.
Mr Lim said he received an email at around 5pm on Feb 21 informing him that there was an attempt to log into his Facebook account.
When he opened up his Facebook app on his phone, he found that he was logged out and was unable to log back in.
Later that evening, his friends and listeners began to contact him telling him some aspects of his account had suddenly been changed, including his profile picture.
The next day, he informed Facebook that his account was compromised.
"Facebook advised me to use a brand new email and new password to be linked to the account, and I managed to get my account back in the afternoon," he said.
"But it was very short-lived."
Within just five minutes, he was again booted from his own account.
This time, the hackers had changed his account name to a Vietnamese one, and had changed additional details such as his profile and background pictures and his country of residence to Hanoi, Vietnam.
"I've only been to Vietnam once around 2007, and that was to Ho Chi Minh, never Hanoi," said Mr Lim.
"The name they changed it to is familiar, I think it was someone that added me as a friend and I just accepted the request."
He admitted that on hindsight, he should have implemented two-factor authentication for his account.
Mr Lim, who began his career as a radio DJ in 1989, said he made a police report on Wednesday morning.
A police spokesman confirmed a report was lodged and said that investigations are ongoing.
But catching the hackers will be difficult.
"Facebook had sent me the IP address the account was accessed from, and I shared that and other details with the police," Mr Lim said.
"But the officer told me that the hackers were hiding behind a virtual private network (VPN), because the IP address was traced to a company based in Netherlands."
Now, he hopes Facebook can shut down his account.
"If the hackers manage to sell the account, they win," he said.
"Even if I get my account back now, a lot of my photos, videos and friends have already been deleted. It's like being erased off the planet on Facebook."
ST has contacted Facebook for comment.