(qlmbusinessnews.com Tues. 4th June, 2024) London, UK —

Massive Data Breach: Hackers Target 560 Million Ticketmaster Customers

Ticketmaster, owned by Live Nation, has confirmed that its database was targeted by unauthorised activity, following claims by a hacker group, ShinyHunters, that they had stolen personal details of 560 million customers. The group asserts that the stolen data includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and partial credit card details of Ticketmaster users worldwide.

The hackers are reportedly demanding a $500,000 (£400,000) ransom to prevent the data from being sold. In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Live Nation stated that on 27 May, “a criminal threat actor offered what it alleged to be Company user data for sale via the dark web” and that an investigation is underway.

The exact number of affected customers has not been confirmed by Live Nation. The breach was initially revealed by hackers who posted an advert for the data on Wednesday evening. Ticketmaster informed shareholders about the incident late on Friday but has not confirmed details to reporters or customers.

The Australian government is collaborating with Ticketmaster to address the issue, and the FBI has offered assistance. A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment on the matter. Live Nation assured in its filing that it is working to “mitigate risk” to its customers and has begun notifying users about the unauthorised access to their personal information.

“As of the date of this filing, the incident has not had, and we do not believe it is reasonably likely to have, a material impact on our overall business operations or on our financial condition or results of operations. We continue to evaluate the risks and our remediation efforts are ongoing,” Live Nation stated.

Ticketmaster is one of the largest online ticket sales platforms globally. This hack is among the most significant in terms of global victims, but the sensitivity of the data in the hands of cybercriminals remains unclear.

Researchers warn that this breach is part of a broader ongoing hack involving the cloud service provider Snowflake, which many large firms use to store data. Snowflake has alerted customers to an increase in cyber threat activity targeting some of its customers' accounts.

On Friday, Santander confirmed that data from an estimated 30 million customers had been stolen by the same hacking group as the Ticketmaster hackers. However, it clarified that UK customer data was not affected.

The hacks are thought to be interconnected, with potential for more breaches to come to light. Data samples from the Ticketmaster breach have been posted on BreachForums, a newly relaunched dark web forum where hackers trade stolen data and hacking tools.

ShinyHunters has a history of high-profile data breaches, including the sale of a database from 70 million AT&T customers in 2021 and a breach affecting nearly 200,000 Pizza Hut customers in Australia last year. Despite the FBI's crackdown on the domain and the arrest of its administrator in March 2023, the forum has resurfaced.

While users on hacking forums often exaggerate the scale of their hacks, if the claims by ShinyHunters are accurate, this could be one of the most significant data breaches ever in terms of the number of victims and the extent of the stolen data.

Ticketmaster

This is not Ticketmaster's first security issue. In 2020, the company admitted to hacking a competitor and paid a $10 million fine. Last November, it was allegedly hit by a cyber attack that disrupted ticket sales for Taylor Swift's Eras tour. Earlier this month, US regulators sued Live Nation, accusing it of using illegal tactics to maintain a monopoly over the live music industry, resulting in higher ticket prices and poorer service.

If you are concerned that you might be affected, experts advise remaining vigilant. Watch out for phishing emails, messages, and phone calls attempting to exploit the situation. Be wary of emails about “resetting passwords,” “receiving compensation,” “scanning devices,” or “missed deliveries.” UK officials also recommend monitoring financial accounts for suspicious activity and changing your Ticketmaster password and any other accounts using the same password.

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