Following the filing of a five-count criminal information against Ticketmaster, alleging conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, computer intrusion of a protected computer, computer intrusion in furtherance of fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and wire fraud, the company has entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York to pay $10 million in fines to resolve those charges.
According to an acting U.S. Attorney, Ticketmaster employees repeatedly and illegally accessed a competitor's computers without authorization, using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence.
The investigation found that an individual bad actor worked for Ticketmaster's competitor, Live Nation, in 2013 as a consultant. He was later hired full-time by Ticketmaster in 2014.
The consultant/employee kept access to usernames and passwords belonging to Live Nation and, between 2013 and 2015, used them without authorization to access Live Nation's systems while working for Ticketmaster.
The employee was terminated from Ticketmaster in 2017 and pled guilty in federal court in 2019 to one count of conspiring to access protected computers without authorization and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He is awaiting sentencing.
Moreover, investigators found Ticketmaster employees and executives held a division-wide summit during which the stolen passwords were used to access Live Nation's company's computers for use in strategy presentations for senior Ticketmaster executives. One Ticketmaster executive described the use of the stolen information as a way to "choke off" the victim company and "steal back" one of its clients. "Ticketmaster to pay $10 million in fines after admitting to illegally accessing competitor's computers" www.wraltechwire.com (May 03, 2021).