Hackers Leaking Taylor Swift Tickets? Don’t Get Your Hopes Up


Proton, the company behind Proton Mail, launched an end-to-end encrypted alternative to Google Docs, seeking to compete with the cloud giant on privacy. We broke down how Apple is taking a similar approach with its implementation of AI, using a system it calls Private Cloud Compute in its new Apple Intelligence features.

In other news, we dug into how the US bans on TikTok and Kaspersky software, despite their national security justifications, pose a threat to internet freedom. We went inside a crash course for US diplomats on cybersecurity, privacy, surveillance, and other digital threats. And we published an in-depth investigation into the origins of the world’s most popular 3D-printed gun, which revealed that its creator was a self-described “incel” with fantasies of right-wing terror.

But that’s not all. Each week, we round up the security news we didn’t cover in depth ourselves. Click the headlines to read the full stories, and stay safe out there.

The giant hack against Ticketmaster may have taken another twist. In June, criminal hackers claimed they had stolen 560 million people’s information from the ticketing company owned by Live Nation. The company has since confirmed a breach, saying its information was taken from its Snowflake account. (More than 165 Snowflake customers were impacted by attacks on the cloud storage company that exploited a lack of multi-factor authentication and stolen login details).

Now in a post on cybercrime marketplace BreachForums, a hacker going by the name of Sp1d3rHunters is threatening to publish more data from Ticketmaster. The account claims to be sharing 170,000 ticket barcodes for upcoming Taylor Swift gigs in the US during October and November. The hacker demanded Ticketmaster “pay us $2million USD” or it will leak “680 million” users’ information and publish millions more event barcodes, including for concerts by artists such as Pink and Sting, and sporting events such as NFL games and F1 races.

The claims appear to be dubious, however, as Ticketmaster’s barcodes aren’t static, according to the company. “Ticketmaster’s SafeTix technology protects tickets by automatically refreshing a new and unique barcode every few seconds so it cannot be stolen or copied,” a Ticketmaster spokesperson tells WIRED in a statement. The spokesperson adds that the company has not paid any ransom or engaged with the hackers’ demands.

Hacker groups are known to lie, exaggerate, and overinflate their claims as they try to get victims to pay. The 680 million customers that Sp1d3rHunters claimed to have data on is higher than the original figure provided when the Ticketmaster breach was first claimed, and neither number has been confirmed. Even if victims do decide to pay, hackers can still keep the data and try to extort companies for a second time.

Despite the breach at Ticketmaster originally being publicized in June, the company has only recently begun emailing customers alerting them to the incident, which happened between April 2 and May 18 this year. The company says the database accessed may include emails, phone numbers, encrypted credit card information, and other personal information.

In recent years, there’s been a sharp uptick in cybercriminals deploying infostealers. This malware can grab all of the login and financial details that someone enters on their machine, which hackers then sell to others who want to exploit the information.

Cybersecurity researchers at Recorded Future have now published proof-of-concept findings showing these stolen login details can be used to potentially track down people visiting dark-web child sexual abuse material (CSAM) sites. Within infostealer logs, the researchers say they were able to find thousands of login details for known CSAM websites, which they could then cross-reference with other details and identify the potential real-world names connected to the abusive website logins. The researchers reported details of individuals to law enforcement.


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