Acclaimed motorsport graphics designer Scott Yorston could be forced to close down ssMedia after hackers broke into his Facebook account.
Yorston has nearly 15 years’ experience in the industry and over that time has built a following of more than 13,500 people on his business’ page.
He’s been responsible for the design of countless liveries, race suits and helmets, and has generated concept sketches of possible future Supercars.
Alongside his work within the sport he produces a series of licensed prints.
Yorston is now battling to regain control of his business’ public image after hackers gained control of his email account, which in turn gave them access to both Facebook and Instagram.
That led to his personal account being removed from the social media platform – a move which included the deletion of irreplaceable images of his father who passed eight years ago.
Though he’s since created a new profile he is unable to access the ssMedia page as his new account has no administrative privleges to the page.
Furthermore his previous account was the only administrator, meaning there is no facility beyond reaching out to Facebook to regain control.
“We’ve got a claim number and everything with Facebook, but they keep coming back saying ‘oh, we’re working on it’,” Yorston told Speedcafe.com.
“I had to go and see a lawyer. There’s a special lawyer to get your documents to prove your identity, and obviously that costs money – it ain’t cheap.
“Originally I submitted 15 documents to them to prove who I am.
“Normally to do that you go to the chemist, or police station, or your doctor (a Justice of the Peace), so I went to my local chemist who know me really well, they signed it, submitted it and Facebook said ‘no, it has to be from a nationalised lawyer’.
“In the States, 22 states in America, to prove your identity, you have to have one of these lawyers to approve it, and California is one of them.
“There’s only five of those lawyers in Melbourne, so it took me ages to find one.”
Now, nearly eight weeks on from the ordeal starting, Yorston remains no closer to a resolution.
It’s all but put his business on hold, including the launch of a new website as he’s no means to raise awareness of it.
He’s also got a range of new prints set to be released, but without access to his Facebook page he’s limited opportunity to advertise.
It means Yorston, who has designed liveries for Erebus Motorsport and DJR Team Penske, is currently powerless to generate interest in his business.
“It’s an utter nightmare, and people have been saying ‘just start again’,” he said.
“I’m not starting again. 14,000 may not seem like a lot to a heap of people, but it’s a hell of a lot to me.”
Yorston founded the ssMedia Facebook page in 2010.
His last post on the page came on March 28 courtesy of a friend who has maintained editor access to the page.
Even that, however, is not enough to restore Yorston’s access, as he instead continues to await a response from Facebook.