Burning Man has become one of the most prominent and diverse festivals in the North American circuit. You will meet very few people who will say that their burning man experience was anything short of amazing and with its rapid rise to popularity, the mainstream is flocking in. Whether it be the CEOs of large tech companies or Will Smith taking selfies in the desert, no one can deny the scale in which Burning Man operates.
Selling over 40,000 tickets in less than an hour, Burning Man 2015 is already gearing up to be one for the history books. This year’s Burn will be so epic in fact, hackers have taken to the internet to try and cheat the system to secure themselves prime ticket real estate.
As soon as the ticket sales opened last week, reports began to surface on social media that identified a bug in Ticketfly’s system that allowed for hackers to create a back door access point in which they could purchase their tickets. After claims became so prevalent, Burning Man looked into the issue and discovered that the reports were indeed true. After going over the technical information with Ticketfly, Burning Man officials issued an official statement concerning the hack:
“Approximately 200 people created a technical ‘backdoor’ to the sale and made their way to the front of the line. Absolutely no tickets were sold before the sale opened, but they were able to purchase the first batch of tickets when the sale started. The good news is that we can track them down, and we’re going to cancel their orders. Steps are being taken to prevent this from happening again in future sales.”
Michael Vacirca, a software engineer at a defense corporation, informed Wired on how the hack was carried out:
“They left code in the page that allowed you to generate the waiting room URL ahead of time. If you knew how to form the URL based on the code segment then you could get in line before everyone else who clicked right at noon.”
Living in the day and age of cyber warfare can be a tricky landscape for festivals and companies that rely heavily on the internet to drive sales. You can read the full story over on Wired.