Breach, Data Security

Ticketmaster fined $10 million in corporate espionage scheme

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday Ticketmaster would pay a $10 million fine as part of a differed prosecution agreement for using an employee's login credentials to his former employer's computer systems to garner information on the competitor.

Zeeshan Zaidi, the former head of artist services at Ticketmaster, pled guilty to conspiring to commit computer intrusions and wire fraud in October 2019.

Ticketmaster, a subsidiary of LiveNation, is a leading provider of live event ticket sales. Much of its business comes from exclusive deals with major artists for the presale of concert tickets.

In the computer intrusion scheme detailed in the agreement, Ticketmaster tried to steal both a client and design ideas from a competitor by logging into the competitor's back-end system. The former employee also stole the competitor's fee calculation system in the form of an Excel spreadsheet.

The former employee and victim company are not named in court documents but have been previously reported as Stephen Mead and Songkick.

The Mead and Zaidi have both been fired from Ticketmaster.

Joe Uchill

Joe is a senior reporter at SC Weekly, focused on policy issues. He previously covered cybersecurity for Axios, The Hill and the Christian Science Monitor’s short-lived Passcode website.

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