Cybercriminals Target MCH Group
By Pamela Wong
MCH Group, the parent company of international art fair Art Basel, suffered a cyberattack on October 20. While the scope of the attack remains largely unknown, according to an email that Art Basel sent to clients and past attendees on October 29, MCH suspects that “the perpetrators may have gained access to data such as personal contact details.” The Switzerland-based event-management company is currently restoring its systems and has filed a criminal complaint against the unknown perpetrator.
In the same email dated October 29, Art Basel stated, “We do not yet know the extent of the data breach and these traces are being analyzed in cooperation with cybersecurity experts as a matter of urgency.” Meanwhile, MCH has secured its communication channels following the attack and has been “working closely with security and cybercrime specialists, including the Swiss National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the police and external experts.” One of the largest event companies in the world, MCH Group hosted a total of 52 exhibitions in 2019, including the company's own events and third-party exhibitions. Beside the three annual editions of Art Basel, these events include Baselworld, which showcases watches and jewelry; Design Miami, which features collectible design works; and Masterpiece London, which shows antiquities and contemporary works of art and design. The guests of such events have been known to include celebrities, royalty, and high-net-worth individuals. Art Basel reminded clients to “exercise caution when dealing with unknown contacts,” such as third parties who may purport to represent banks, internet providers, or insurance companies.
Like the Hong Kong and Basel editions of Art Basel earlier this year, Art Basel Miami Beach, scheduled for December 2 to 4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, will include online viewing rooms. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, the fair has expanded its online footprint, rolling out new digital channels to encourage remote art purchases.
Pamela Wong is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor.
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