Wealthy Mayfair art dealers hit by cyber attack costing them up to £1m

A group of wealthy Mayfair art dealers have been hit by a cyber attack which has lost them up £1 million to hackers.

At least nine galleries or individuals were affected, including Hauser &Wirth, and London-based dealers Simon Lee, Thomas Dane, Rosenfeld Porciniand Laura Bartlett - informed standard.co.uk.

The galleries lost sums between £10,000 and £1 million, accordingto Hallett Independent Art Insurance.

“We know a number of galleries that have been affected. The sums lost bythem or their clients range from £10,000 to £1m,” said insurance brokerAdam Prideaux of Hallett Independent, according to The Art Newspaper.

“I suspect the problem is a lot worse than we imagine.”

The galleries were hit by an email scam, in which hackers impersonatedtheir accounts and manipulated huge sums from art investors.

The method is simple. Fraudsters gained access to art dealers' emailaccount and monitored incoming and outgoing messages.

When the gallery then senta PDF invoice to a client via email after a sale,the hacker struck.

Using an impersonated email as coverthe hacker senta duplicate,fraudulent invoice from the identical gallery email address.

The client wastold to ignore the first invoiceand instead wire payment tothe hacker's bank account.

The technique wasalso used to steal payments made by galleries to theirartists.

London-based dealer Laura Bartlett was forced to close her gallery in eastLondon after a cyberattack on a high-value sale over the summer.

Both she and her US client have been unable to recover the money from theintercepted sale, though the theft is under ongoing investigation by the Metropolitan Police .

She told the Art Newspaper: “I didn’t have the financial security toweather this kind of scenario.”

“If it had happened at another time of year, when I’d had a better run, itmight have been OK, but this particular sale was going to pay a lot ofbills.”

Other London galleries have taken steps to prevent these forms of attackfrom happening again.

Mayfair gallery Simon Lee and Thomas Dane Gallery in St James's have bothoverhauled their invoicing procedures.

While Simon Lee's gallery allegedly only lost a small sum, art dealer Leenow issues a standard warning about cyber fraud with every invoice and hisaccountant confirms banking details with clients over the phone.

Read more news of London on our site.

standard.co.uk
WealthyMayfairart
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
A flashmob choir delighted London Bridge commuters by bursting into a heartwarming rendition of Lean on Me. The charity ensemble, made of station staff and rail employees, performed a version of Billy Withers' classic song during the afternoon rush hour this week. Footage shows commuters stopping to watch the choir as the voices bounce around the busy interchange -writes standard.co.uk. Stephen Fry was among those to express his joy at the "wonderful" musi...
Society
London will account for 25 per cent of the UK's homeless population this Christmas, according to new figures. Research published on Friday by homeless charity Crisis found 6,180 people in the capital were either on the streets or sleeping in tents and public transport. It came as temperatures plummeted below zero in London this week, with mayor Sadiq Khan announcing the opening of emergency cold weather shelters across the city on Thursday. In Britain as a...
Society
Supermarket chain Marks and Spencer has clashed with police over plans to sell alcohol from 7am in a London branch. Police claimed M&S bosses suggested the booze they sell is too expensive "to attract people that are alcohol dependent", in papers submitted ahead of an Islington Council licensing hearing - writes standard.co.uk Police also condemned the high street giant for saying that there was "very little evidence to suggest that selling alcohol one hou...
Society
Researchers have identified the London Tube routes where passengers are most likely to catch the so-called "commuter cold." The widely accepted concept that cramped, busy tubes and stations are a hotbed for spreading flu-like symptoms has never been officially scientifically proven - writes standard.co.uk But, a new study undertaken by the University of Bristol has now shown Tube travel is linked to the spread of infectious diseases. By comparing Oyster ca...
Society
To help tackle London’s gun and knife crime epidemic, Henry Smith is going to extremes. The property developer, whose brother-in-law was stabbed to death, is heading far south, to Antarctica, to climb the continent’s highest peak. For 10 days in January, the 56-year-old will climb Mount Vinson, which is as tall as Kilimanjaro - 5,000 metres - in 24-hour daylight, minus 45 degree temperatures and high speed winds, all while carrying 30-40 kilograms worth of...
Society
The cost of plans to transform the former Royal London Hospitalinto a town hall have ballooned by £15 million after the building was found to contain “phenomenal” amounts of asbestos.  Preliminary work on the new civic centre for Tower Hamlets in Whitechapel Road revealed “unprecedented” amounts of the dangerous material, according to mayor John Biggs.  The project aims to transform what was once the largest hospital in the country into offices for council...
Society
Newborn girls in Camden have the highest life expectancy out of any area in the country. Females from the north London borough are expected to live for 86.5 years, according to new figures released on Wednesday. Two other London boroughs – Kensington and Chelsea (86.2) and Westminster (86.0) – also made the top three of the list for female life expectancy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it was "noticeable" how Camden was top after it had bee...
Society
Southwestern Ontario looms large in Canada's opioid drug crisis, a new national report suggests, with Brantford running the second-highest rate of hospitalization for opioid use in the country last year and London the sixth-highest. Southwestern Ontario looms large in Canada’s opioid drug crisis, a new national report suggests, with Brantford running the second-highest rate of hospitalization for opioid use in the country last year and London the sixth-hig...
Society
A tense debate over a supervised drug use site that garnered unanimous backing from city politicians Monday night saw neighbours pitted against one another in what one councillor called a disappointing exchange. A tense debate over a supervised drug use site that garnered unanimous backing from city politicians Monday night saw neighbours pitted against one another in what one councillor called a disappointing exchange. At issue was a zoning change that wo...