Massive Ticketmaster Data Breach: Australian Government and FBI Investigate ShinyHunters’ Hack

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Australia Engages with Ticketmaster Over Hacking ‘Incident’

Massive Ticketmaster Data Breach Australian Government and FBI Investigate ShinyHunters' Hack
Massive Ticketmaster Data Breach Australian Government and FBI Investigate ShinyHunters’ Hack

Government Investigates Massive Data Breach Claims

Sydney: The Australian government announced on May 30 that it is investigating claims by a hacking group, ShinyHunters, to have stolen the personal details of 560 million customers from global events giant Ticketmaster. The FBI has also offered its assistance in the investigation.

ShinyHunters claimed on an online forum that the stolen data includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and partial credit card details of customers. The group is reportedly offering the data for a “one-time sale” priced at US$500,000 (RM2.35mil).

Government and FBI Collaboration

A spokesperson from the National Office of Cyber Security confirmed that they are engaging with Ticketmaster to understand the extent of the incident. The Australian government has urged individuals with specific inquiries to contact Ticketmaster directly for more information.

An official from the US embassy stated that the FBI has offered assistance to Australian authorities, highlighting the international cooperation in addressing this significant cybersecurity threat.

ShinyHunters’ History of High-Profile Hacks

ShinyHunters gained notoriety in 2020-21 for selling large amounts of customer records from over 60 companies. In January, a court in Seattle sentenced Sebastien Raoult, a French computer hacker and ShinyHunters member, to three years in prison. Raoult was ordered to pay more than US$5 million (RM23.56mil) in restitution after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

US prosecutors have reported that ShinyHunters’ activities resulted in millions of dollars in losses for companies and “unmeasurable additional losses” for individuals whose data was sold to other criminals.

Increasing Severity of Hacks

Cybersecurity expert Katina Michael from the University of Wollongong warned that the frequency and impact of hacking incidents are on the rise. She projected that the number of people affected by hacks could potentially reach one billion in the future. Michael emphasized the need for governments, companies, and consumers to improve their cybersecurity measures, including basic protections like two-factor authentication.

Ticketmaster’s Response and Legal Challenges

Ticketmaster, headquartered in California, operates one of the largest online ticket sales platforms globally. The company has been contacted for comments on the authenticity of the dataset offered by ShinyHunters, but verification is still pending.

In a related development, the US Department of Justice recently filed a major antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation. The lawsuit seeks to break up their alleged monopoly in the music industry. Ticketmaster’s pricing practices, particularly high fees and lack of market alternatives, have long been contentious issues in the United States.

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