A little more than a month before its fair in Miami Beach, Art Basel said that its parent company, MCH Group, had been the subject of a data breach last week.
In an email to those who have previously registered for fair access, the fair wrote that MCH Group was “hit by a criminal cyber-attack using malware.” It said MCH Group had filed a criminal complaint against “the perpetrators unknown to us.”
Known for bringing together international collectors, celebrities, and royalty, Art Basel’s fairs are considered some of the most important events within the art world. Based on the newsletter from Art Basel, the extent of the attack wasn’t clear. A spokesperson for Art Basel did not respond a request for comment.
Still, the fair mentioned that some of its attendees’ data could have been obtained by the perpetrators. “The information currently available to us suggests that the perpetrators may have gained access to data such as personal contact details,” Art Basel said. “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.”
The email continued, “Keeping your information safe is our utmost priority and we are taking the necessary measures to protect you and continue to work with a wide range of internal and external specialists to resolve the issues.”
The breach comes at an unfortunate moment for Art Basel, which is returning to hosting in-person fairs after a year in which it had to move all its tentpole events online. After multiple delays, its Swiss edition was finally held in September. Art Basel Miami Beach opens at the end of November to VIPs.