Thursday 20 September 2018

Ticketmaster was warned of breach months ago, bank claims

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Allison Bray and Martyn Landi

Ticketmaster was warned it may have been the victim of a cyber attack as far back as April, according to digital bank Monzo.

The online ticketing service said on Wednesday it did not identify the breach until June 23, when it "took swift action" and informed the relevant authorities.

However, the UK-based online bank said it replaced the bank cards of 50 of its customers who had reported fraudulent transactions on April 6.

A subsequent investigation found that 70pc of those affected had used their cards with Ticketmaster in the previous five months.

Monzo said it then alerted Ticketmaster following its own investigation and further reports of fraudulent transactions from accounts that had previously interacted with Ticketmaster.

"Given the pattern that was emerging, we decided to reach out to Ticketmaster directly. On Thursday, April 12, members of the Ticketmaster security team visited the Monzo office so we could share the information we'd gathered," Monzo's head of financial crime, Natasha Vernier, wrote on the company's website.

"They told us they'd investigate internally."

Officials from Ticketmaster in Ireland emailed tens of thousands of Irish customers on Wednesday night, stating a breach due to a third-party issue could affect those who purchased tickets between September 2017 and June 23, 2018.

The company claimed it was doing so "out of an abundance of caution", noting there is no evidence that any Irish customers are affected by the breach, which appears to have affected only its UK customers. However, it advised its Irish customers to check their bank and credit card statements for any signs of fraud or identity theft.

Ticketmaster said it identified malware in a third-party customer support product from Inbenta Technologies as the source of the attack, which may have affected up to 40,000 UK customers.

Ticketmaster confirmed it was notifying customers it believes may have been affected by the breach and is making users reset their passwords the next time they visit the site.

In response to Monzo's claims, a Ticketmaster spokesman said: "When a bank or credit card provider alerts us to suspicious activity, it is always investigated thoroughly with our acquiring bank, which processes card payments on our behalf.

"In this case, there was an investigation, but there was no evidence that the issue originated with Ticketmaster," the company said.

Irish Independent

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