March 5, 2010 / by Kevin Brackett
Ticketmaster is a name that most everyone who has been to a concert or live event is familiar with. With the age of the internet, most people skip the trip to the box office and but online at ticketmaster.com – then simply print their ticket out and bring it to their event. But with great technology, comes great responsibility.
Three men are being accused of hacking the Ticketmaster website, in order to obtain high quantities of tickets to sought after events. The men would supposedly then turn around and sell the tickets for much higher prices than face value. Since they would buy out such a large quantity of tickets, concertgoers who wanted to see the shows had no choice but to pay the scalpers.
The way that the hackers were able to buy up so many tickets as soon as they went on sale is by using an automated program that would bypass the website’s “CAPTCHAs” – the weird images commonly seen at the end of forms or online purchased to verify that the user is a real human (usually make you type a series of numbers or letters in the correct order). The three men collectively made up a company called “Wiseguy Tickets Inc.,” who purchased over 1.5 million tickets by hacking Ticketmaster.com. They have reportedly made a profit of almost $25 million between 2002 to 2008.