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Ticketmaster will pay $10 million for hacking rival ticket seller


#Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million for breaking into a competitors’ network. The company and its parent #Live #Nation admitted to hiring a former employee from rival ticket seller #CrowdSurge, then using his knowledge — including old usernames and passwords — to learn #CrowdSurge’s inner workings and “cut [the company] off at the knees.”

“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly — and illegally — accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said acting US attorney #Seth #DuCharme. “Further, #Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers.”

The hacking allegations were reported in 2017 after #CrowdSurge (which had merged with another company called #Songkick) sued #Live #Nation for antitrust violations. #According to court documents and previous reports, #Live #Nation hired a former #CrowdSurge employee named #Stephen #Mead in 2013. Then, now-fired #Ticketmaster executive #Zeeshan #Zaidi and other executives encouraged him to turn over his old employer’s secrets. #That included logging into pages with analytics for artist management companies, getting a window into #CrowdSurge’s operations. #Ticketmaster even offered a “product review” of its far smaller rival at a 2014 company summit, asking #Mead to log in and demonstrate its capabilities in a presentation.

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#In addition to actual password theft, #Mead also revealed that his old employer used non-protected but difficult-to-find preview links for ticketing pages. #Ticketmaster gathered a spreadsheet of every ticketing page it could find, letting it identify artists who were using the service and “dissuade” them from doing so.

#Ticketmaster apparently lost access to the system by 2015, the same year #CrowdSurge merged with #Songkick. #Songkick sued #Live #Nation and #Ticketmaster for violating antitrust laws. #But it soon sold or shut down its services, and in 2018, it accepted a $110 million settlement — plus an undisclosed sum to sell some of its remaining assets to #Ticketmaster.

#Today’s judgment defers prosecution under the #Computer #Fraud and #Abuse #Act. #Ticketmaster must pay the fine in question, maintain clear policies to detect and prevent unauthorized computer intrusion, and present annual reports on its conduct for the next three years.



[ source link ]
https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/30/22206955/ticketmaster-songkick-crowdsurge-hacking-deferred-prosecution-fine

##Ticketmaster #pay #million #hacking #rival #ticket #seller

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