Australia says engaging with Ticketmaster over hacking 'incident'

Australia says engaging with Ticketmaster over hacking 'incident'

Hacking group ShinyHunters has claimed to have accessed the accounts of 560 million Ticketmaster customers
Hacking group ShinyHunters has claimed to have accessed the accounts of 560 million Ticketmaster customers. Photo: JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP
Source: AFP

Australia's government said Thursday its cyber security office was "engaging" with US-based Ticketmaster after a hacking group claimed to have accessed the details of 560 million global customers.

The well-known hacking group ShinyHunters posted evidence of the hack on the dark web, according to a screenshot shared widely on social media, claiming to have swiped the personal details of more than half a billion clients.

The group demanded a ransom payment of US$500,000, describing it as a "one-time sale", according to the post.

The stolen data purportedly included names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and the last four digits of customer credit card numbers along with the expiry dates.

"The National Office of Cyber Security is engaging with Ticketmaster to understand the incident," an Australian government spokesperson said in a statement.

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It urged people with "specific inquiries" to contact Ticketmaster directly.

In January, a court in Los Angeles jailed Sebastien Raoult, a French computer hacker who was part of the ShinyHunters criminal gang.

He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay more than $5 million in restitution after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

US prosecutors said the extensive hacking caused millions of dollars in losses to victim companies and "unmeasurable additional losses" to hundreds of millions of individuals whose data was sold to other criminals.

AFP has contacted Ticketmaster seeking comment.

Hacking 'will grow'

Hacks are impacting more people with increasingly severe consequences, University of Wollongong cybersecurity professor Katina Michael told AFP.

The number of people hacked "will grow, it could be up to one billion in the future", she said.

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Governments, companies and consumers are not doing enough to protect themselves or investing in basic protection mechanisms like two-factor authentication, Michael warned.

Ticketmaster, a California-based company, operates one of the largest online ticket sales platforms in the world.

The US Department of Justice last week filed a major antitrust lawsuit seeking to break up an alleged monopoly held by Live Nation Entertainment and its Ticketmaster subsidiary in the live music industry.

Ticketmaster's pricing practices, with high fees and lack of alternatives, have long been a political issue in the United States, with little done historically to open up the market to more competition.

Source: AFP

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