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Rare Van Gogh Painting and Schumacher’s Watch Amid Christie’s $845M Cyber Attack Turmoil

– Christie’s faces a cyberattack, taking its website offline and disrupting $845 million in auctions. Bidding continues via phone, in-person, and Christie’s Live.
– Michael Schumacher’s watches sold for $4.4 million; Van Gogh painting worth $35 million to be auctioned tomorrow.



Cyber Chaos at Christie's: Auction House Struggles with $845 Million On the Line
Cyber Chaos at Christie's: Auction House Struggles with $845 Million On the Line

LONDON: Christie’s, the prestigious British auction house, has been grappling with a cyberattack that took its website offline last Thursday (May 9th). The attack coincided with the start of Christie’s highly anticipated spring auctions, featuring a collection of valuable items estimated at £670 million ($845 million).

While the website remains down, replaced by a temporary page, most auctions have proceeded as planned. However, the attack has caused some disruption for potential buyers who typically rely on the website to view lots and participate in online bidding.

Auctioneer Adapts to Digital Disruption

Christie’s has implemented contingency measures to ensure the smooth running of the auctions. A basic temporary website allows potential buyers to browse upcoming lots. Bidding options include in-person attendance, phone calls, and Christie’s Live platform, a secure online bidding system.

“We have well-established protocols in place to manage such incidents,” stated Christie’s in a press release. However, concerns remain as the website outage stretches into its second week.

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Millions in Sales Despite Online Hiccup

Despite the cyberattack, some notable sales have taken place. The auction of eight watches from Formula One legend Michael Schumacher’s collection fetched CHF4 million ($4.4 million) yesterday. Bidding on a Vincent van Gogh painting valued at $35 million is scheduled for tomorrow (May 16th).

Security Concerns Linger After Past Vulnerability

This is not Christie’s first brush with cybersecurity issues. In 2023, a data breach exposed the location data linked to images of artworks uploaded to their website. This incident raised concerns about the vulnerability of valuable items entrusted to the auction house.

Cybersecurity Experts Urge Vigilance

The attack on Christie’s highlights the growing threat of cybercrime in today’s digital landscape. Steve Bradford, a security expert at SailPoint, emphasizes the need for robust security measures. “Organizations must have clear visibility into who can access what within their systems,” he advises.

The full extent of the data compromised in the Christie’s attack remains unclear. Companies facing cyberattacks often struggle to identify and disclose the scope of data breaches, which can damage their reputation and erode customer trust.

Christie’s is yet to comment on the specific nature of the cyberattack or the potential compromise of data. As the investigation continues, online art enthusiasts and collectors will be watching closely to see when the website is restored and how the auction house addresses lingering security concerns.

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