Data Security, Threat Intelligence

Ticketmaster shakes off claims that hackers nicked Taylor Swift tix

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New York, USA - 26 April 2021: Ticketmaster company logo close-up on website page, Illustrative Editorial

Ticketmaster said there is no risk to its systems following hackers claiming to have stolen ticket barcodes for upcoming Taylor Swift concert dates.

The concert promoter told CyberRisk Alliance that there was no risk of any tickets being stolen or counterfeited and that its barcode system had safeguards in place that would make such a heist practically impossible.

“Ticketmaster’s SafeTix technology protects tickets by automatically refreshing a new and unique barcode every few seconds so it cannot be stolen or copied,” Ticketmaster said in a statement.

“This is just one of many fraud protections we implement to keep tickets safe and secure.”

This after the H4KMANAC account on Twitter (now known as X) issued a tweet claiming that hackers breached the company’s ticketing system and pilfered some 170K barcodes that would have allowed the holders access into concerts from pop megastar and tight-end enthusiast Taylor Swift.

Additionally, the account claimed, the hackers were said to have millions of other barcodes that would allow access to various other music and sports concerts. All of the information was allegedly being held ransom for a price of $2m.

The latter point seems have particularly irked Ticketmaster. The company made a point to tell CyberRisk Alliance that it had never negotiated with any hackers or data brokers on the matter and it had zero plans of doing so.

“Some outlets are inaccurately reporting about a ransom offer,” Ticketmaster said.

“We were never engaged for a ransom and did not offer them money.”

Further reports of barcode tampering

Meanwhile, a separate report claimed that a legal case is brewing in California between AXS and a group of scalpers alleging tampering with the Ticketmaster barcode ticketing system.

404 Media reported that the suit claims resellers illegally reverse-engineered the barcode system in order to create a workaround to protections that limit resellers to the two companies’ own proprietary platforms. This, in turn, would allow the scalpers to resell tickets on their own marketplace sites without any oversight or monitoring from Ticketmaster or AXS.

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