You might say it was the best of online sales, it was the worst of online sales. Newly launched Fine Art Bourse set a record for an indigenous Australian woman’s work of art last week, according to The Art Newspaper:
A painting by the late Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye has sold for A$2.1m at auction in Sydney, ($1.6m/£1.2m; with buyer’s premium), setting a record sale price for an Australian female artist. The work, Earth’s Creation I (1994), which was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2015, was bought by the New York-based dealer Tim Olsen for a client.
But the sale came after a mysterious denial of service attack originating from the Ukraine that shut down FAB’s site and caused the sale to be postponed:
IT specialist and newly appointed Director of Fine Art Bourse Limited, William Ehmcke, told NITV News the servers received over 20,000 hits from unknown sources in the Ukraine, which resulted in a “denial of service”.
“The timing and the size of the attacks suggest a paid, deliberate and successful attack resulting in F.A.B.’s inability to proceed with the auction,” Mr Ehmcke said.
“There is also evidence that the auction platform database was hacked, just prior to the auction launch, to further disrupt the sale process. All client data has now been removed from the F.A.B. database.”
The denial of service attack raises some interesting questions about whether the auction was the target, someone bidding on the work or the information of the buyers or sellers.