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When You Can't See Who's Cutting In Line

Posted by: on Mar 1, 2010 | Comments (2)

With the “advance” of online ticket sales, we all went from standing in line outside the Wherehouse on a Sunday morning to standing together in a dark room with our hands outstretched, blindfolded, hoping that when the tickets fell from the ceiling we might catch one. Today’s news confirms what we all suspected: someone snuck in a vacuum.

This just in from New Jersey, via the Star-Ledger:

Federal authorities in New Jersey today charged four men with hacking into websites of online ticket sellers and illegally buying tickets to Hannah Montana, Bruce Springsteen and other shows around the nation.

The massive conspiracy virtually hijacked the online ticketing systems and prevented average consumers from buying prime seats.

The men, who ran a Nevada-based company called Wiseguy Tickets Inc., employed a computer programmer in Bulgaria who crafted software to swarm the websites of Ticketmaster, Live Nation, Major League Baseball and other companies, according to a 60-page indictment unsealed in Newark.

In essence, the company was able to cut in front of thousands of fans and buy the best seats in the house, authorities said. Wiseguys allegedly sold the tickets at a steep mark-up to brokers, who in turn sold them at an even steeper price to fans, according to the 60-page indictment. The firm bought more than 1.5 million tickets and grossed more than $25 million in profit between 2002 and 2009, according to the indictment. Wiseguy bought at least 11,700 tickets to Springsteen shows alone between September and December 2007, authorities said.

Goes without saying, but may these guys burn in hell. May we also further discover ways in which technology has actually made things worse, says the weirdo who just typed a postcard on a typewriter to send through the United States Postal Service.

What’s especially maddening is that these can’t be the only people hacking the Ticketmaster system. Nor will they be the last.