After Taylor Swift codes: Hackers publish thousands of valid tickets online
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After Taylor Swift codes: Hackers publish thousands of valid tickets online

Translation: machine translated

In the past few days, ticket codes for Taylor Swift concerts have appeared online. The ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster reassured us that these were not valid. However, a new ticket leak shows that this is not quite the case.

At the beginning of the week, a user called "Sp1d3rHunters" posted around 166,000 barcodes in an online forum. According to him, these entitle the holder to admission to some Taylor Swift concerts in the USA. After the Ticketmaster portal rebuffed and pointed out its security precautions, the group has now followed suit. A further 39,000 tickets, including codes, were published in the forum in question.

New tickets are valid - Ticketmaster under pressure

The 39,000 or so tickets that the group has now posted on the forum are mostly print-at-home tickets. Unlike the barcodes generated for the Taylor Swift concerts, the SafeTix technology does not work here, as "Sp1d3rHunters" wrote in the forum. "Ticketmaster is lying to the public (...). The ticket database contains both online and physical tickets", the group stated, "these are printed and cannot be updated automatically".

With the new leak, Ticketmaster will have a lot of employees.
With the new leak, Ticketmaster will have a lot of employees.
Source: Florian Bodoky

The portal BleepingComputer has checked the leaked data set and found it to be genuine. It is a CSV file with the corresponding barcode data for the concerts. These include events by Aerosmith, Alanis Morissette, Sting, Bruce Springsteen and other artists - but also events such as Cirque du Soleil. The perpetrators have also included instructions on how to convert these barcodes into real tickets.

This now puts Ticketmaster in a precarious position. Unlike with digital codes, a new code is not automatically generated to replace the old one. The company now has to compare the CSV file with its own sales and provide the actual buyers with new tickets - even if this works seamlessly, the additional work involved is considerable. Meanwhile, "Sp1d3rHunters" is sticking to its blackmail. Two million US dollars are being demanded - otherwise it is possible that even more content will appear online. Ticketmaster has not yet made a statement.

Header image: Shutterstock

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I've been tinkering with digital networks ever since I found out how to activate both telephone channels on the ISDN card for greater bandwidth. As for the analogue variety, I've been doing that since I learned to talk. Though Winterthur is my adoptive home city, my heart still bleeds red and blue. 

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