Australian Government Probes Ticketmaster Data Breach Claim

Australian Government Probes Ticketmaster Data Breach Claim
Australian Government Probes Ticketmaster Data Breach Claim

The Australian government was investigating claims by a hacking group to have stolen the details of 560 million customers from global events giant Ticketmaster, with the FBI offering its assistance.

The group, named ShinyHunters, said on an online forum that the stolen data included the names, addresses, phone numbers and partial credit card details of customers.

The data was available for US$500,000 in a "one-time sale", its post said.

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

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

ShinyHunters burst into notoriety in 2020-21 when it put up huge troves of customer records from more than 60 companies, according to the US Department of Justice.

In January, a court in Seattle jailed Sebastien Raoult, a French computer hacker who was a member of ShinyHunters.

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.

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

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

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

The US Department of Justice filed a major antitrust lawsuit last week seeking to break up Ticketmaster and Live Nation's alleged monopoly in the 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.