January 25, 2023


Ticketmaster deems cyberattack responsible for disrupting Taylor Swift tour sale

Ticketmaster testified in court, says cyberattack ‘bots’ caused blockage

By Melanie Aiden January 25, 2023
Ticketmaster deems cyberattack responsible for disrupting Taylor Swift tour sale

Ticketmaster has a suspect to blame.

The so-called "Swifties" demanded explanations when throngs of Taylor Swift fans were prevented from purchasing tickets for her upcoming The Eras tour in November.

The Senate also concurred.

This week, executives from Ticketmaster testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Swifty sales crash was actually the result of a hack rather than the company's stranglehold on the live music business.

According to the opening testimony, which was made available to Dark Reading before of the court, "There was unprecedented demand for Taylor Swift tickets."

"We knew bots would attack that on-sale, and planned accordingly."

However, Ticketmaster said that it had never seen such a high volume of bot traffic, with bots both trying to buy tickets and breaking into the servers that handle ticket sales to steal access codes.

The organisation stated, "While the bots failed to penetrate our systems or acquire any tickets, the attack required us to slow down and even pause our sales," adding that the distinction, in this case, is that the bots were assaulting the system itself as well as trying to beat people to the tickets.

Some senators, including Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn, disagreed with Ticketmaster's assertion that it was ready for the Taylor Swift crowd in advance.

"This is unbelievable," Blackburn said during the hearing. She added, "Why is it that you have not developed an algorithm to sort out what is a bot and what is a consumer?"

Although Ticketmaster asked the Senate to take tighter anti-bot legislation, enforcement, and sanctions into consideration, doing so does little to fortify systems for upcoming blockbuster tour event sales against an army of shopper bots that is becoming more and more aggressive.