Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster logos, Live Nation Entertainment logo, Ticketmaster logo
Image Credit: REUTERS

Washington: US concert booking site Ticketmaster confirmed Friday that it was investigating a data breach after a hacking group known as ShinyHunters claimed to have accessed 560 million customers' information.

The well-known hacking group posted evidence on May 27 of the hack on the dark web, according to a screenshot shared widely on social media.

The group demanded a ransom payment of $500,000, describing it as a "one-time sale," according to the post.

Ticketmaster, a California-based company, operates one of the largest online ticket sales platforms in the world.

In filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Ticketmaster's parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, said it had "identified unauthorised activity within a third-party cloud database environment."

According to Ticketmaster's public filing, the company first identified "unauthorised activity" on May 20, a week before the post on social media.

"We are working to mitigate risk to our users and the company, and have notified and are cooperating with law enforcement," it said.

Ticketmaster added that the incident "has not had, and we do not believe it is reasonably likely to have, a material impact on our overall business operations or on our financial condition or results of operations."

The Australian government on Thursday said it was investigating the hacking claims, with the FBI offering its assistance.

Notorious ShinyHunters

ShinyHunters burst into notoriety in 2020-21 when it put up huge troves of customer records from more than 60 companies, according to the US Department of Justice.

In January, a court in Seattle jailed Sebastien Raoult, a French computer hacker who was a member ShinyHunters.

He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay more than $5 million in restitution after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The US Department of Justice last week filed a major antitrust lawsuit seeking to break up an alleged monopoly held by Live Nation Entertainment and its Ticketmaster subsidiary in the live music industry.

Ticketmaster's pricing practices, with high fees and lack of alternatives, have long been a political issue in the United States, with little done historically to open up the market to more competition.