Data breaches are nothing new.
What has changed recently is the regulations surrounding personal data.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies must notify the Information Commissioner's Office within 72 hours of becoming aware of a breach.
In the case of Ticketmaster's recent breach, questions remain about whether they reported the loss of data affecting 40,000 customers quickly enough.
Ticketmaster lost the customer data because of a third-party application designed to help them manage customer support requests. The Inbenta software was infected with malware and was passing customer data to a third-party, who then used the information to help them make fraudulent payments.
Ticketmaster claims that up to 40,000 UK customers may have had their data stolen. Customers in the US were not affected in the incident. Ticketmaster is offering customers a 12-month identity monitoring service to help prevent further frauds from occurring.
One of the problems with a data breach of this kind is the avalanche of follow-up crimes that typically occur – not always relying on the actual data lost. This is because criminals use the confusion and concern caused by a major data loss incident to dupe customers into changing passwords – on dummy websites that they control. Ticketmaster is urging customers to only visit genuine Ticketmaster websites on recognised addresses.
Brooks Wallace, cyber-security specialist from Trusted Knight commented: "After an incident like this, criminals from around the world will jump at the chance to try and catch a few unsuspecting people out," said Brooks Wallace from the cyber-security specialist Trusted Knight. "If you receive any emails purporting to be from Ticketmaster asking for any personal information, discard them. If you need to contact Ticketmaster, type the website address into your browser and log-in that way."
Questions about the timing of Ticketmaster's notification surfaced after Monzo, the online bank, reported that they had uncovered evidence that Ticketmaster may have been breached in early April – something they passed on to authorities and to Ticketmaster. Monzo's discovery followed customer reports of fraudulent transactions. The security team at Monzo analysed the accounts of approximately 50 customers who had all been the victim of fraud and found a pattern: 70% of the affected customers had recently bought tickets from Ticketmaster. Only 0.8% of their entire customer base had used Ticketmaster.
The question that the ICO may want answered is why it took months for Ticketmaster to confirm that a breach had taken place? Was the breach carefully concealed by hackers? Or did Ticketmaster hope to limit the scope of scandal?
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