Millions of Ticketmaster customers could be affected by data hacking 

Live Nation, the owner of Ticketmaster, has confirmed “unauthorised activity” in its database after hackers claimed to have stolen the personal details of 560 million customers. The hacking group, ShinyHunters, claims that the stolen data includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and partial credit card details from Ticketmaster users worldwide.

ShinyHunters is reportedly demanding a $500,000 ransom to prevent the data from being sold to other parties. This group has been linked to several high-profile data breaches that have resulted in millions of dollars in losses for the affected companies. 

In 2021, ShinyHunters sold a database containing information from 70 million customers of US telecom firm AT&T, and in September last year, almost 200,000 Pizza Hut customers in Australia had their data breached.

Ticketmaster is one of the largest online ticket sales platforms globally and has been hit by one of the biggest data breaches in history in terms of global victims. However, the sensitivity of the compromised data remains unclear. 

The breach was initially revealed by hackers who posted an advertisement for the data on Wednesday evening. Ticketmaster did not confirm the breach to reporters or customers immediately and instead notified shareholders late on Friday. 

The Australian government has stated it is working with Ticketmaster to address the issue, and the FBI has also offered assistance, according to a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Canberra.

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Live Nation disclosed that on May 27, “a criminal threat actor offered what it alleged to be Company user data for sale via the dark web” and that an investigation is ongoing. Live Nation has not confirmed the exact number of customers affected by the breach.

Researchers warn that this breach may be part of a larger ongoing hack involving the cloud service provider Snowflake, which is used by many large firms to store data. Snowflake has notified customers of increased cyber threat activity targeting some of its accounts.

Additionally, on Friday, Santander confirmed that data from an estimated 30 million customers was stolen by the same hacking group responsible for the Ticketmaster breach. Santander noted that “UK customer data was not affected or lost in the hack.” It is believed that these hacks are interconnected, and more breaches may be revealed.

An advertisement with data samples allegedly obtained in the Ticketmaster breach has been posted on BreachForums, a recently relaunched dark web forum where hackers buy and sell stolen material and hacking information. 

Live Nation, in its filing, stated that it is working to “mitigate risk” to its customers and is notifying users about the unauthorised access to their personal information.

“As of the date of this filing, the incident has not had, and we do not believe it is reasonably likely to have, a material impact on our overall business operations or on our financial condition or results of operations. We continue to evaluate the risks and our remediation efforts are ongoing”, it added.

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