They say bad publicity is still publicity, but companies that fall victim to porn cyberattacks might tell you otherwise. Major sportswear brand Asics, for example, recently blamed a “cyberattack” after pornography appeared on its large storefront display screens for nine long hours.
The incident took place at a busy Asics store in Auckland, with the material running from around 1am until the staff reported for work at 10am. The brand apologised to anyone impacted by the material and considered the incident as a serious PR hit as children were reported as having been exposed to the material.
“Our Shortland Street store was subject to a cyber security breach. We are currently investigating the situation and working to mitigate against it happening again in the future. We sincerely apologise to those who saw the content,” a spokesperson for Asics said.
The store manager, who wanted to be called only John, blamed a cyberattack as he was “100% sure” his staff wouldn’t do such a thing.
“Head office and our IT team have begun a full investigation into what happened and who uploaded the page,” John told NZ Herald.
“Screens were immediately turned off when they turned up for work on Sunday. Clearly this is an embarrassing situation, and Asics has apologised through our website and also by email to our customer database.”
As cyber attackers get better at breaching security, leading global tech security expert Theo Nassiokas warned that New Zealand is likely to face significant future attacks – so now may be the best time to take out cyber insurance.
“There are two types of organisations – those that have been hacked and those that don’t know they’ve been hacked. This includes both government and private sector organisations,” he said.
“However, all New Zealand organisations need to consider a commercially feasible cyber strategy involving a smart combination of technology, people and process controls to achieve an optimal level of cyber security and cyber resilience.”