Ticketmaster hit by cyberattack – hackers ‘offer to sell customer data on the dark web’ | Scientific and technological news

Parent company Live Nation said it discovered “unauthorized activity” on May 20 in a third-party cloud database containing primarily Ticketmaster data.

Saturday June 1, 2024 3:02 p.m., United Kingdom

Concert promoter Live Nation said it was investigating a cyberattack on its Ticketmaster unit, days after experts urged customers to change their passwords.

Hackers are reportedly offering to sell customer data on the dark web.

The US entertainment giant said it discovered “unauthorized activity” on May 20 in a third-party cloud database containing primarily Ticketmaster data.

Live Nation added that “a malicious actor offered what it claims to be the company’s user data for sale via the dark web” on May 27.

This comes days after a little-known cybercrime group named ShinyHunters reportedly claimed to have stolen the user data of more than 500 million customers of the online ticket sales platform.

The hackers are reportedly demanding around $500,000 (£400,000) in ransom to prevent the data from being sold.

The breach has not had and is not likely to have a material impact on Live Nation’s business, the company said.

Customers were urged by experts to change their passwords after hacking allegations emerged.

The Times reported that Ticketmaster’s names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and partial credit card details were being offered for sale online.

ShinyHunters posted samples of this information on a hacker forum while asking $500,000 for a “one-time sale,” the publication added.

Live Nation did not mention ShinyHunters in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said: “We are working to mitigate risks to our users and the business, and we have notified and are cooperating with law enforcement.

“Where applicable, we also notify regulatory authorities and users of any unauthorized access to personal information.

“We continue to assess risks and our remediation efforts continue.”

Australian and American authorities are said to be in contact with Ticketmaster to understand and respond to the incident.

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Companies face lawsuits

Ticketmaster, which merged with Live Nation in 2010, is the world’s largest seller of tickets to music, sports, theater and other events.

The breach comes at a time when both companies are facing lawsuits over competition concerns.

The U.S. government wants to break them up, accusing the companies of having an illegal monopoly on live events in the United States.

Learn more:
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US Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: AP

The companies also face a landmark class action seeking $5bn (£4bn) in damages on behalf of millions of potential ticket buyers.

“It’s time for fans and artists to stop paying the price of Live Nation’s monopoly,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“It’s time to restore competition and innovation to the entertainment industry. It’s time to dismantle Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

Ticketmaster sparked outrage in November 2022 when its site crashed during a pre-sale event for a Taylor Swift tour.

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The company said the site was overwhelmed by both fans and bot attacks, which posed as consumers to grab tickets and sell them on secondary sites.

At the time, the superstar criticized Ticketmaster on social mediasaying it was “excruciating for me to just see errors happening with no recourse” after Swift fans reported long wait times and site outages during pre-sales.

The debacle sparked congressional hearings aimed at better protecting consumers.