Walmart has revealed that an unknown hacker took over control of at least part of its website on May 24 and used the illegally gained access to send out an unknown number of racist and disturbing emails containing the N-word.
Nathaniel Meyersohn of CNN Business reported that “dozens of people took to Twitter on Monday to say they received emails with a racial slur from a Walmart account after someone created fake accounts with their addresses on the company’s site.”
According to Meyersohn, “an auto-generated ‘Welcome to Walmart’ email, which was sent to the accounts after they were signed up for a Walmart shopping account, contained the N-word.”
“What’s the best way to contact you guys for a very inappropriate email my daughter received in their inbox from you?” tweeted @GDolceMiami, who was just one of the countless individuals to receive the racist message.
In a statement, Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman attributed the attack on customers to an “external bad actor” who broke into the company’s site and created fake user accounts with an “obvious intent to offend our customers.”
“We were shocked and appalled to see these offensive and unacceptable emails,” Blakeman said. “We’re looking into our sign-up process to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Walmart did not disclose how many of its customers had received the email or if any other important company or customer data had also been compromised by the security breach.
Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.