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Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Christie auction house victim of data breach after ransomware attack

By Vaseline May30,2024
Christie auction house victim of data breach after ransomware attack

In early May, the website of major auction house Christie’s went offline after what it described as a “technology security incident.” The attack occurred as Christie’s began selling items worth an estimated $840 million, resulting in buyers being unable to view the lots on the website. However, bids could still be placed by telephone or in person.

A relatively new group of cybercriminals called RansomHub have claimed to be behind the attack, which reportedly sees 2GB of the auction house’s data exposed unless a ransom is paid.

Christie’s CEO, Guillaume Cerutti, posted a statement on LinkedIn following RansomHub’s claims, saying: “Our subsequent investigation revealed that there was unauthorized access by a third party to parts of Christie’s network. The investigation also revealed that the group behind the incident obtained some data from the Christie’s network, including a limited amount of personal data relating to some of our customers.

While Cerutti says there is no evidence that any financial or transactional data about Christie’s or its customers has been captured, RansomHub has said it has access to sensitive personal information about 500,000 Christie’s customers, including dates of birth, full names and ID numbers.

RansomHub has given Christie’s a one-week deadline to pay arbitrarily or all information will be posted online, leaving the auction house facing potentially hefty fines due to GDPR breaches and a damaged reputation. Christie’s has also said it is complying with all regulations and will make appropriate notifications to privacy regulators.

Due to its high-profile and wealthy customer base, many private individuals use Christie’s because they offer buyers and sellers the opportunity to remain anonymous. If personal information of billionaire clients were released, this would clearly be a major problem for Christie’s.

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