The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that Ticketmaster, a platform for purchasing tickets to events such as concerts and sports would be fined $10 million after a staff member admitted to infiltrating the systems of a rival presale ticket company.
In what appears to be an elaborate scheme, Ticketmaster executives utilized the knowledge of an employee(unnamed) who also happened to previously work for the victim company believed to be Songkick.
According to the DOJ, he left the victim company in 2012 after signing a confidentiality agreement, before joining Live Nation (Ticketmaster’s holding company).
Following his employment, he proceeded to share sensitive data with the executives at Ticketmaster including former Head of Artists Services Division Zeeshan Zaidi.
The DOJ reports that the goal was to ‘choke off’ the competition and steal one of their signature clients.
Ticketmaster gained access to & monitored the victim company’s systems, allowing them to find out which artists used the platform to sell tickets.
They also hacked into the company’s Artist toolbox app, a secure service that provides data on ticket sales.
A report from the DOJ states that Ticketmaster went as far as accessing the toolbox app in a live demo at an internal summit in front of other Live Nation & Ticketmaster employees. A promotion and a raise were offered to the former employee later on.
Ticketmaster has since terminated the employee & Zeeshan Zaidi, following a lawsuit in 2015 by the victim company. The latter pleaded guilty in 2019 to committing computer intrusion & wire fraud.
The $10 million fine resolves charges of computer intrusion & fraud offenses and is part of a deferred prosecution agreement between Ticketmaster & the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.