Incident Response, Network Security, TDR

Colorado Rockies blame cyberattack for online ticket-sales outage

The Colorado Rockies blamed a cyberattack for knocking their World Series online ticket-sales operation out of the batter's box on Monday.

The baseball club, which won its first National League championship last week, disclosed late Monday that an outside cyberattack was to blame for its online ticket booth going offline.

“Our website, and ultimately our fans and our organization, were the victim of an external, malicious attack that shut down the system and kept our fans from being able to purchase their World Series tickets,” Keli McGregor, team president, said Monday in a news release. “Throughout the day, we've evaluated all of our options, and we continue to believe that the online sale approach is the most fair and equitable method to distribute the tickets. Our partners at Paciolan have fully assessed the situation and assured us that tomorrow's online sale will go as originally planned.”

The Rockies said late Monday in a news release that the team would resume online ticket sales today at 2 p.m. EST.

Shaw Taylor, Paciolan marketing director, confirmed that online ticket sales would resume today, but referred other questions to the Rockies.

The Rockies announced Monday afternoon that a deluge of 8.5 million visitors to the team website resulted in a system-wide outage for Paciolan, impacting all of the Irvine, Calif.-based company's North American customers.

Less than 500 tickets were sold Monday morning before the system interruption, according to the Rockies.

A Rockies representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

The third, fourth and fifth games of the World Series are scheduled (if the series goes beyond four games) to be played at Denver's Coors Field on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The Rockies took the sports world by storm in the past month by winning 21 of 22 games to close out the regular season, then beating the San Diego Padres in a one-game playoff to reach the post-season. Denver swept both the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks to reach the World Series for the first time in the franchise's 15-year history.

Joe Basirico, director of technology and security services at Security Innovation, told that he couldn't be sure whether the incident was the result of an attack or high demand.

“It's difficult to say. I wouldn't jump on the DDoS bandwagon, although this is a problem, especially with all the malware going around, and many companies don't even know if their machines are being taken over,” he said.

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