Tag Archives: Secondary Ticket Market

Top Cybersecurity Threats in Sport (2025)

On October 10th, 2017 at a panel discussion about “Cybersecurity of the Olympic Games” at the University Club, California Memorial Stadium – Missy Franklin, (five-time Olympic medalist) said “We constantly get new technology thrown at us. It’s crazy, but that’s where sports are going.”

Extract:Digital technologies pose an increasingly diverse set of threats to Olympic events, and the newer forms of threat are likely to have more serious consequences. While most hacks today focus on sports stadium IT systems and ticket operations, future risks will include hacks that cut to the integrity of the sporting event results, as well as to core stadiums operations.”

The study The Cybersecurity of Olympic Sports: New Opportunities, New Risks identifies eight key areas of risk for future sporting events:

  1. Stadium system hacks
  2. Scoring system hacks
  3. Photo and video replay hacks
  4. Athlete care hacks
  5. Entry manipulation
  6. Transportation hacks
  7. Hacks to facilitate terrorism or kidnapping
  8. Panic-inducing hacks

Key Olympic sports technology trends that represent several vectors of additional risk:

  1. Gymnastics
    1. Artificial intelligence in scoring
    2. Possible Surprises: Embedded tracking in gymnastics equipment
  2. Swimming
    1. Automated start/finish technology
    2. Possible Surprises: Biometrics in swimsuits
  3. Rowing
    1. Drones above race
    2. GPS tracking of boats
    3. Possible Surprises: Virtual reality real-time viewing
  4. Track & Field
    1. Automatic field event measurement
    2. Possible Surprises: 3D images for track finishes

Selected known cybersecurity incidents from the last three summer Olympic Games include:

BEIJING:

  1. Ticket scamming
  2. DDoS and related attacks against IT infrastructure

LONDON OLYMPICS:

  1. Ticket scamming
  2. DDoS and related attacks against IT infrastructure
  3. False alarm threat to the electrical grid

RIO OLYMPICS:

  1. Ticket scamming
  2. DDoS and related attacks against IT infrastructure
  3. Athlete data hack

END

Mining for Tickets – Touts & Ticket Stealing Bots

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Automated ticket mining bots can get around security measures designed to limit ticket purchases. These bots can hoover up hundreds of tickets within seconds of their release. The tickets then almost immediately appear at vastly inflated prices on resale websites.

In early 2017 Viagogo a secondary ticketing website was accused of “moral repugnance” for reselling tickets to an Ed Sheeran cancer charity gig for up to £5,000. An £85 seat to see Adele at the London O2 in 2016 was reportedly being sold online for £24,840.

The use of bots will soon become a criminal offence as part of a crackdown on resale websites. Touts who use bots to mine for concert tickets before selling them for massive profits – and blocking fans from seeing their favourite artists – will also face unlimited fines.

Ticketing firms must introduce tougher anti-bot measures and stronger enforcement of consumer rights laws. Presently, too much lip service is paid to the problem without any real steps being taken to combat it. 

Sources

  • Sky News
  • Sky Sports News

ENDS

Ticket Resellers, “Legal” Domestic Touts, Illegal Offshore Touts

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It is important that fans understand that there are different types of secondary ticket companies. Some of these outfits have no affiliation with associations, football clubs, or supporters clubs and are often based offshore so that they are not subject to UK law.

The general resale of football tickets in the UK was banned in 1994 because of safety fears over the possibility of rival fans mingling together. Only outlets officially authorised by clubs can offer unwanted seats. But tickets are not always sold at face value on these websites even though they are authorised by a club to act as an authorised ticket reseller. Other clubs do have deals with resellers where tickets cannot be sold for more than face value.

But overseas firms can avoid UK consumer law and the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers warns the online trade allows unscrupulous firms to “dupe unsuspecting ticket buyers”.

Under UK law, tickets advertised must include the cost and location of seats in the stadium. But during the course of 5 live Investigates research they found many examples where this did not happen or the tickets arrived late. The investigation also found that Premier League tickets with a face value of £23 were being be resold for as much as £130 each.

In a bid to clamp down on illegal trading clubs commenced seizing tickets in recent years.

Ticketbis

One firm, Ticketbis, was found to have distributed season tickets and it was also claimed it was reselling tickets associated with people already banned from a stadium. When asked to respond to the allegations, Ticketbis, which is based in Spain, said it is a “secure online platform that works as an intermediary between individuals that want to buy and sell tickets in 40 countries”. The company did not comment on the illegal sale of football tickets.

Acknowledgements & Sources

  • Alistair Magowan, Journalist (Article dated 22nd February 2016)
  • BBC Sport
  • Sky Sport
  • BBC 5 Live Investigates

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