Auction of World's Priciest Whisky Ruined by Cyber-Attack

An online auction of rare whiskies amassed by an American collector has been postponed indefinitely following a cyber-attack.

More than 1,900 bottles from Richard Gooding's collection were successfully auctioned off via the Whisky Auctioneer website earlier this year for just under $4m. The second phase of "The Perfect Collection" auction, consisting of 1,958 lots, began on April 10 and was due to conclude on April 20. 

But before the bidding could end, a cyber-attack forced the Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer website offline. 

Initially, the auction was postponed for 48 hours due to what the site described as “abnormal excessive loads on the website, which caused some technical issues." However, the specialist online auction house later posted a statement on its website revealing that it had become the victim of a cyber-attack. 

"At approx. 22.30 (BST) on 21 April, experienced a targeted, technologically sophisticated, sustained and malicious attack on our website and databases," read the statement. "The website is currently offline whilst we continue to actively investigate this."

The auction house did not reveal any details regarding the nature of the attack but said that it had been in touch with customers who may have been impacted by the incident. An investigation has been launched to determine what occurred.

In a service announcement, Whisky Auctioneer said: "The team here is working extremely hard to investigate this and minimize the impacts on our valued customers as a result of this situation. We take data and cyber security incredibly seriously and have put in place continuously improving safeguards in line with the latest technology available."

Whatever form the attack was, it has caused the potentially record-breaking auction of "The Perfect Collection: Part Two" to be postponed until further notice. Included in the auction's second phase was a bottle of 1926 Macallan expected to fetch around $1.25m on its own.  

Gooding, who passed away in 2014, was the grandson of Caleb D. Bradham, who founded the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company in 1936 in Denver. Born in Colorado and resident in the US, Gooding built his incredible collection up over two decades, flying to Scotland and Ireland on his private jet to source rare vintage whiskies.

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