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Hackers Cut in Line to Buy Tickets

Hack allows buyers to jump to the front of the queue and purchase prime tickets online before fans can get to them

Ticket scalpers have found a sneaky way to elbow ordinary fans out of the lineup for major sports and concert events, according to a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. report.

Hackers are using computer software to lock up front-row seats on popular sites such as TicketMaster and then offer them to ticket brokers, who resell the tickets at hugely inflated prices, the report says.

Some regions have laws against ticket scalping, but according to the CBC investigation, no one is cracking down on the software that beats ordinary fans to the front of the line.

Allan Caine, a University of Waterloo computer sciences student, showed CBC a similar program he designed to read the "captcha," which makes sure a human is entering a site, on a ticket company's Website.

"It makes me mad to think that all of the best seats are already taken up," he said.

Critics say TicketMaster should take responsibility for the hacks and tighten up the security on its site. TicketMaster declined to be interviewed for the story.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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