Hackers Stole Thousands of Ticket Codes for Taylor Swift Shows, Demand $1 Million Ransom from Ticketmaster

Hackers known as ShinyHunters are demanding a ransom from Ticketmaster after stealing ticket data. (EFE/Juanjo Martin)

A group of hackers He claimed to have obtained barcode data from hundreds of thousands of flight tickets. Ages to Taylor Swift And demanded Ticket Manager A multi-million dollar ransom, as reported this week by the parent company, Live national entertainment. The hacker group known as ShinyHunters Post samples of this data in an online forum, specifically referring to the offerings in Indianapolis, Miami And New OrleansIn addition to ensuring they receive an additional 30 million barcodes from other events, as detailed below. Watchman.

It is noted in the published ransom messages that the hackers used accounts associated with names such as: Sp1d3rHunters To connect, an account associated with ShinyHunters has a history of cyber attacks on large companies such as Santander, AT&T And MicrosoftAccording to cybersecurity sources. Ticket Manager It rejected any attempts to negotiate with the hackers and ensured that its ticketing technology prevented the use of leaked barcodes to gain access, dynamically updating the codes every few seconds.

Cybersecurity experts, such as Don Smithvice president SecureworksHe noted that the stolen data “would not be useful for accessing the stadium,” because the Ticketmaster mobile app uses dynamic barcodes, while the stolen data is static. Smith “This data is almost certainly not enough to allow someone to recreate the barcode for entry,” he added.

Live Nation has confirmed this. ShinyHunters A third-party contractor's data was breached earlier this year, and information such as names, partial payment details, phone numbers, ticket sales and other data was obtained for about 560 million customers, the confirmation came in a presentation before Securities and Exchange Commission From the United States in May.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster, accusing them of illegally monopolizing live events in the United States (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

The increase in cyber attacks in recent years has resulted in many victims, including large companies and public institutions. According to analysts, victims have paid $1.1 billion In rescue operations only in 2023 National Health Service The UK is still recovering from a devastating attack by a Russia-based ransomware gang in June.

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These cyber attacks not only affect businesses, but also the consumer experience. Fans Taylor Swiftknown as SwiftiesThey may not be able to attend Eras concerts using tickets obtained illegally through these means. Despite the breach, experts say companies like Live Nation have sophisticated security measures in place to prevent the stolen data from being exploited.

Taylor Swift's tour has faced similar problems in the past. In February, hackers breached the security of a ticketTickets for Eras' Australian tour are being resold. Ticketek has set up temporary booths outside concerts so fans can report issues and get their tickets back.

Regarding the Live Nation ransom demand, Smith “If the idea here is to create absolute chaos on all future Eras tour dates, I don’t think so,” he commented, underscoring the effectiveness of the security measures the company has implemented to mitigate the impact of the attack.

In addition to the problems associated with cyber attacks, Long live the nation It faces legal and public relations problems. The US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the company in May, accusing it of illegally monopolizing ticket sales and seeking to dismember it. The management of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour was not immune to controversy either, with failed sales leading to long waits, mismanagement of demand and reselling tickets at exorbitant prices. Same Taylor Swift The company has been repeatedly criticized for these issues.

ShinyHunters It also claimed responsibility for another major attack this year, in which it was able to access the bank numbers and credit card data of about 30 million customers and employees. SantanderThey tried to sell this information to the highest bidder. In May, FBI The US Department of Justice seized the online forum that ShinyHunters used to post ransomware information and threats, but another site soon appeared.

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Live Nation continues to face challenges. Experts say that while ShinyHunters were able to access large amounts of data, the advanced security measures employed by Ticketmaster and Live Nation have significantly mitigated the potential damage that could have been caused by the stolen information.

Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

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