Posted on September 30, 2019 at 5:58 PM
For years, pornography and cybersecurity have been closely related. The majority of the cases involve high-profile people involved in scandals, or being caught entering these pages, and paying money to cybercriminals in exchange for them not disclosing any information to the public. Most of the times, those claims aren’t even true.
However, we may be dealing with something new and strange. According to the latest reports Asics, which is a widely known sportswear company, suffered what it called a cyberattack when its displays in the front of the store played pornography to people who passed by for a whopping nine hours.
The events took place in the city of Auckland, in New Zealand, on Sunday on a prominent location. The “porn fest” lasted from approximately 1 am to 10 am, which was the moment in which the shop workers reported to the venue.
The Firm Apologized for the “Cyberattack”
Naturally, the incident may have offended some people, but the company quickly went to its official Facebook account to issue an apology to the community. It put the blame on the alleged cyberattack.
The nine-hour porn display was deemed as a significant PR hit, as there were reports that there were children passing by at some point. One of the firm’s spokesperson referred to the matter, saying that the store located at Shortland Street suffered a security breach and that they were investigating the events and applying measures to prevent a similar attack in the future. The spokesperson went on to apologize for the incident.
The pornography was shown in the screens that face Queen Street, which is the busiest shopping center in all New Zealand (including Wellington, the capital city.) The reports state that the local police and also the online firm Netsafe have been alerted about the events.
Contrasting Opinions and Receptions
Some people were deeply offended by the displayed content, deeming in fully inappropriate to public audiences. Such was the case of Tanya Lee, mother of a seven-year-old child. Both were on their way to have breakfast Sunday morning when they stopped by the venue and watched the displays.
Lee, seeing the pornography being shown at a sportswear store, was surprised and considered the content not only inappropriate but also offensive. According to the Guardian, she said that she had to look a second time because her eyes could not believe what was happening.
However, other witnesses and citizens took the incident more lightly and weren’t at all offended. According to what Dwayne Hinango, a security officer, told the Guardian, some people were surprised, but others just stood up in front of displays and watched the displayed content.
Despite the reports from people that were offended by the unfortunate hacking event and its peculiar nature, the New Zealand police said they had not received any official complaints regarding the matter as of Monday morning.
A Movie-Like Incident
We have seen this type of incident in some movies. However, as real-life goes, it can certainly be qualified as an unusual offense. It is difficult to explain the real intentions of the hackers, other than gaining exposure and notoriety. Additionally, rather than attributing it to a known hacking association or group, it was most likely a disgruntled former worker or a bad joke that went too far.
As of the moment of writing this piece, the author of the attack hadn’t been identified. However, law enforcement and police corps were investigating into the matter. The New Zealand Herald, one of the country’s top publications, reported that the store manager said the incident was a security breach and that he was convinced his staff wasn’t involved.
Per the leader of the store, the respective agencies and corps were already looking for further details about what happened. He added that the screens were immediately turned off the moment the staff noticed the unusual broadcast on Sunday morning.
The store manager also said that the company was fully aware that the situation was embarrassing, and that it offered apologies to customers via email in addition to the public message that was issued.