Ticketmaster will pay $ 10 million to hack a competing ticket seller

Ticketmaster will pay $ 10 million to hack a competing ticket seller

Ticketmaster owns She agreed to pay $ 10 million To break into the network of competitors. The company and its parent company Live Nation admitted to hiring a former employee of a competing CrowdSurge ticket seller, then using his knowledge – including old usernames and passwords – to learn CrowdSurge’s internal business and “cut” [the company] At the knees. “

“Ticketmaster employees have repeatedly – and unlawfully – accessed competitor computers without permission by using stolen passwords to illegally gather commercial information,” said Acting US attorney Seth Ducharme. “Moreover, Ticketmaster employees brazenly held a department-level” summit “in which the stolen passwords were used to gain access to the victim’s company computers.

They were allegations of piracy Reported in 2017 After CrowdSurge (which merged with another company called Songkick) sued Live Nation for antitrust violations. According to court documents And in previous reports, Live Nation hired a former CrowdSurge employee named Stephen Mead in 2013. Ticketmaster CEO Zeeshan Zaidi and other executives encouraged him to hand over the old employer’s secrets. This included logging into pages with analytics for artist management companies, and getting a window into CrowdSurge processes. Ticketmaster offered a “product review” to its much smaller competitor at the 2014 company summit, asking Mead to log in and demonstrate its capabilities in a presentation.

In addition to the actual password theft, Mead also revealed that his old employer used unprotected but hard-to-find preview links for ticket pages. Ticketmaster compiled a spreadsheet for every ticket page it could find, which allowed it to identify which artists were using the service and “discourage” them from doing so.

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Ticketmaster appears to have lost access to the system by 2015, the same year that CrowdSurge merged with Songkick. Songkick sued Live Nation and Ticketmaster for violating antitrust laws. But it soon sold or discontinued its services, and in 2018, it did Accepted a $ 110 million settlement Plus an undisclosed sum to sell some of the remaining assets to Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster expressed satisfaction with the result in a statement. Ticketmaster terminated both Zaidi and Mead in 2017, after their behavior came to light. Their actions violated our company policies and were not in line with our values. A company spokesperson said: “We are happy to have this issue resolved now.” the edge.

Today’s ruling defers prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Ticketmaster must pay the fine involved, maintain clear policies to detect and prevent unauthorized computer intrusion, and submit annual reports on its behavior for the next three years.

Update 6:20 PM ET: Added statement from Ticketmaster.

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