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Big Little Lions lose Facebook account in cyberattack

Folk-pop duo Big Little Lions recently lost their Facebook page after falling victim to scammers. Before the incident, Big Little Lions had accrued over 4000 followers on the app.

In mid-March, Helen Austin and Paul Otten were approached to participate in a sponsored podcast that brought together musicians to talk about the industry. Having done their due diligence, they saw no reason to suspect that the person who had reached out was not legitimate.

“We looked at the person who had done the podcast, and they had a podcast on Apple,” said Helen. “Last September they had done a sponsored one and it all seemed to check out, even the Facebook page.”

The podcast organizers then asked Helen to enter a Zoom call in order to discuss how the podcast would run. Helen was joined on the call by the other half of Big Little Lions, Paul, and her husband,  a software developer familiar with cyber attacks. He later called the event a “social engineering attack.”

During the call, the organizers asked Helen to add an online event profile to their main page. The profile was supposed to give the band the chance to host performances on both their own page and the podcast page.

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What they didn’t realize is that they had given these hackers full access to their account. Within the first few hours, the band had lost complete access.

Within days, the band quickly noticed controversial postings on their page added by the hackers.

“At first, it was for a Greek politician, and it was in Greek so we didn’t know what they were saying,” Helen said. “It turned into more controversial stuff. First Elon Musk, then Jeff Bezos, it was all dishonest information.”

Since the cyberattack, Helen hasn’t been able to access the account and now has to rebuild their Facebook audience from scratch. “It’s been really upsetting,” Helen said. “I’ve cried a lot through frustration and loss of control. We thought we’d done our due diligence, but just one extra step, trawling through the comments on the podcasters page, would have shown us it was a scam. It’s so frustrating.”

Big Little Lions have now managed to secure their full name on Facebook. They currently have over 400 followers and are growing steadily.

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