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Cyberattack Fallout Negatively Impacting Major US Museums

Hello there, good folks! Gather round, and let’s have ourselves a riveting chat about a recent concerning occurrence in the art world. Being honest with you, who knew that even the great pillars of culture and creativity could fall victim to the dark and twisted nature of cybercrime? It just goes to show, you can’t put anything past these shifty electronic dognappers. Anyway, my grandmother used to tell me, “Knowledge is power, my dear.” So, let’s navigate this storm together by understanding what’s actually gone down recently.

Across the pond in the United States, a bunch of arts institutions have been plonked right in the soup, I tell you, unable to showcase their wondrous collections online. Why, you ask? Well, a cyberattack brought down a tech service provider these museums were relying on. It wasn’t any old cyberattack — mind you, this was as brazen and indiscriminate as a fox in the chicken coop!

Among those left bobbing in the wake of this turmoil were big names like the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the ever-charming Rubin Museum of Art in New York, and Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, with its lofty perch in Arlington, New York. Not forgetting the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in out-of-the-way Bentonville, Arkansas.

This tech service provider, simply known as Gallery Systems, is a veritable Sherpa for cultural institutions. It helps them navigate the digital wilderness of managing internal documents and exhibiting works online. But alas, my friends, in the face of cyber villains, this digital Sherpa was left as helpless as a lamb caught amid a pack of wolves.

Oh, you’ll love this bit! Gallery Systems first cottoned on to this mess on December 28. I wager that was a bolt from the blue, eh? Suddenly, I imagine with a gasp and a drop of the tea cup, they found that computers running its software had been encrypted and made about as operable as a chocolate teapot!

Really, it’s a confounding example of how our transition to this increasingly digital world, although bristling with benefits, can also leave us vulnerable to unforeseen shenanigans. It’s a stark reminder for everyone, not just the arts institutions but healthcare establishments, businesses and the man on the Clapham omnibus, that cybersecurity isn’t a piece to be played lightly on this vast chessboard of life.

Well, it’s been a natter and a half, hadn’t it? Thank you for getting comfy with me, and remember to mind your Ps and Qs online. You never know when a cyber fox might try to sneak into your digital chicken coop, right? Let’s stay informed, stay secure, and as always, keep taking care of one another. After all, we’re in this together, come rain or shine.

by Parker Bytes

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