Art World, Take Heed: The Christie’s Hack Was a Warning

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in On Balancethe ARTnews newsletter about the art market and beyond. Sign up here to receive it every Wednesday.

Late this past Sunday, RansomHub, a group of cyber-extortionists, claimed responsibility for the apparent hack of Christie’s previously at perhaps the most inopportune time for the auction house: New York Auction Week.

In a message posted to the dark web, the group shared an image containing a sample of the data taken in the attack, which it said included “sensitive personal information” concerning the auction house’s rarefied clientele. The message also had a timer counting down to RansomHub’s threatened release of the data, set to hit zero by the end of May.

This is just the latest development in what CEO Guillaume Cerutti euphemistically termed a “technology security incident” earlier this month, which caused a shutdown of the house’s website. For the entirety of May’s marquee auctions, clients had to make bids in person, by phone, or through a temporary site. Luckily for Christie’s, the incident didn’t appear to derail the sales—all the auctions shares this Content with License.

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Art World, Take Heed: The Christie’s Hack Was a Warning