Ticketfly.com is back up and appears to be fully operational, coming up over the weekend after spending over a week in the throes of what it refered to as a “Cyber Incident.” The incident was a hack of its systems that has been reported as effecting some 27 million users of the ticketing platform.
“We recognize how tough and frustrating this has been on everyone – both our clients, and those of you who just want to go see the shows you love,” a post on the company’s support website – the lone window for consumers and clients to see what was going on while the main website was down – reads. “We are deeply sorry this happened. While we’ve made significant progress, there’s still work ahead to make things right. Our top priorities remain ensuring your security, getting everything back up and running, and regaining your trust.”
For the millions who had their data accessed by a hacker – who reportedly tried to ransom the Eventbrite-owned ticketing platform for one bitcoin (approx. $8,000) before making the breach public – that may be a hard sell. Names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers connected to 27 million Ticketfly accounts was accessed. The company says that credit and debit card information was not accessed in the breach.
Following a brief period on May 31 where the hacker published a public message announcing the breach on Ticketfly’s homepage, the site went dark, and along with it, numerous websites for venues and promoters powered by the company. Parent company Eventbrite’s website was not taken down at any point. Systems were slowly brought back on over the ensuing two weeks while the company worked with third-party cybersecurity experts.
It is unclear how much the outage and related negative publicity will damage Ticketfly and its parent Eventbrite. At least one prominent client has backed the vendor in the wake of the event, as I.M.P. chair Seth Hurwitz told Pollstar his company wasn’t looking to shift gears in the wake of the hack.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that can happen to any company at any time,” Hurwitz, told Pollstar. “If we all quit using every commerce where it did, we’d live in a small village somewhere with no communication.
“Once they were back up, daily sales were actually much higher than they were on most shows, so it looks like people that couldn’t buy on those days bought as soon as they could. Although, honestly, I never thought it would hurt sales on future shows.
“I didn’t figure people were out there saying: ‘Oh, no, if I couldn’t buy em last Thursday, no nuh-uh forget it.’ Although we did have some rather ridiculous calls from agents with shows in November that seemed to think otherwise.”
While it appears, at least for the moment, that Ticketfly and Eventbrite may have dodged a bullet in terms of the potential damage done to both clients and consumers, that doesn’t mean that the ticketing world shouldn’t consider the potential for future similar actions by bad actors – particularly given the overwhelming amount of data controlled at the center of the ticketing world with Live Nation/Ticketmaster.