Hackers Claimed to Have Stolen 560 Million Ticketmaster Customers’ Personal Details

With the slew of concerts heading our way in the latter half of 2024, here are some… rather interesting developments in the ticketing scene.

So, get this: a hacking group called ShinyHunters (no, not those Pokemon shiny hunters) says they’ve nabbed personal details of 560 million Ticketmaster customers worldwide.

They even posted proof of the hack on the dark web, and a screenshot of it is being shared all over social media. These hackers are asking for a $500,000 ransom, calling it a “one-time sale”.

What Got Stolen?

According to cybersecurity news site Hackread, the hackers managed to steal 1.3TB of data after breaching the servers of Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation.

The stolen info reportedly includes names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, order information, and partial payment card data of around 560 million customers. The payment data even includes the last four digits of credit card numbers and their expiry dates. 

On Thursday, 30 May, Australia’s government said their cybersecurity office is talking to Ticketmaster in the US about this hack.

They advised anyone with specific concerns to contact Ticketmaster directly. Meanwhile, the FBI has offered to help Australian authorities with the investigation.

Who Are These ShinyHunters?

Hackread explains that ShinyHunters is “known for its high-profile data breaches” and has even managed to outsmart recent FBI efforts to shut them down.

They reclaimed a seized domain, showing off their “technical prowess and resilience against law enforcement actions.”

Earlier this year, in January, a court in Los Angeles sentenced Sebastien Raoult, a French hacker and member of ShinyHunters, to three years in prison. He was also fined over $5 million after pleading guilty to wire fraud and identity theft.

US prosecutors said the group’s hacking caused millions of dollars in losses to companies and countless extra losses to people whose data was sold to other criminals.

Cybersecurity expert Katina Michael from the University of Wollongong told the press that the number of people affected by hacks is likely to grow, potentially reaching up to one billion in the future.

She pointed out that governments, companies, and consumers aren’t doing enough to protect themselves, often skipping basic security steps like two-factor authentication.

Ticketmaster, based in California, runs one of the biggest online platforms for selling event tickets worldwide.

Recently, the US Department of Justice filed a major antitrust lawsuit against them, which aims to dismantle what is claimed to be a monopoly held by Live Nation Entertainment and its subsidiary Ticketmaster in the live music industry.

A monopoly means one company has almost complete control over a market, reducing competition.

Frequent concert-goers may be more than familiar with this fact, but Ticketmaster’s pricing practices have been controversial for a long time.

These practices include charging high fees for tickets and having very few competitors, which means people don’t have many other places to buy tickets from.

This lack of competition and high fees have been a big issue in the US, but not much has been done historically to change this situation and make the market more open and competitive.

This alleged hack by ShinyHunters is a wake-up call about the increasing threat of cyberattacks and their big impact on people and businesses. As the investigation continues, affected customers should stay alert and take steps to protect their personal information.

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