BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart Inc. confirmed Monday afternoon that it has blocked emails containing a racial slur that were being sent from its domain by an “external bad actor,” multiple media outlets reported.
“We discovered that an external bad actor created false Walmart accounts with obvious intent to offend our customers,” Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman told USA Today in an emailed statement, noting that the retail behemoth is “shocked and appalled” by the offensive communications.
The saga began early Monday as several Twitter users posted screenshots of emails from the company’s official firstname.lastname@example.org address that replaced the email recipients names with a racial slur, Reuters reported.
According to CBS News, the cyberattack’s architects created new accounts for people “whose emails were not previously identified by the company as belonging to Walmart customers,” prompting the mass sending of “Welcome to Walmart” emails that replaced the recipients’ names with the racial slur.
Although Walmart declined to state how many of the offensive emails were delivered, the company did confirm that its internal systems were not breached in the attack and that no customer data was compromised, the network reported.
Meanwhile, Walmart is “looking into all available means to hold those responsible accountable,” Blakeman told USA Today.
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