It was confirmed just last week that the California music festival fell victim to a malicious software attack. In the report, it was identified that close to a million accounts had been hacked nationwide. These primarily consisted of members of the famous festival’s message board. The hacked accounts were also reported to have been on active sale on unidentified darknet marketplaces, similar to those like Rutor.
“If you have registered for an internet forum or bought online tickets for the popular music festival Coachella in California, you have to expect a surprise,” the news sources reported. This is because a hacker with the fictitious name of “Berkrut” hacked into the music festivals system and stole information that could be detrimental for close to a million account holders. The hacker may have stolen the data and posted it on the darknet market in exchange for money. Fans and visitors message board accounts of the Coachella festival include encrypted passwords, usernames, email addresses, as well as IP addresses.
“The users’ payment information such as credit card was not in the list of hacked items,” this is according to an online magazine. The online magazine was among the first news sources to get the scoop on the huge data outflow and verified the hacking of various accounts. It is estimated that 360,000 accounts were obtained from the Coachella website while the other 590,000 were obtained from the internet forum.
Berkrut, the hacker, offered to sell the information on darknet with an estimated value of $300. This information allows users of the darknet market to either scam the account holders or takes the information to commit crimes that will not lead to them but rather the victim.
The festival which is expected to kick off in April, with bands and artists like Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead is bringing more fear than joy in the faces of the fans. The festival is a big platform for many stars around the US. The festival welcomes individuals who want to enjoy a few days of entertainment in the desert of California and it also presents a hippy lifestyle. According to golden voice (concert promoter), the hack was apparently the second blow for the fans as it was announced that Beyoncé will not be headlining but will be replaced by another well-known music icon Lady Gaga.
“Fans and visitor of the festival are likely to be targets of a well-tailored phishing attack with lock offers,” Tony Gauda an official of the data security company (Thin Air) warns. It is in cases such as the Coachella attack that awaken the authorities and corporations to tell them that they are still the targets of a well-organized group of individuals who are always ready to attack. This implies that corporations and authorities need to do much more in order to protect confidential information from falling into the wrong arms.
“Beware of phishing emails sent from impersonators of Coachella personnel,” promoters warn. They continued to warn that Coachella will never ask for the user’s personal information or accounts information through email. The promoters concluded by urging users to be cautious of phone calls or emails that will ask for their information because they could be the work of the third party.
According to Malware byte IT security experts, the data span allows third parties to replace or cancel tickets. “Although the password and financial information were not affected, the third parties have access to users phone number, date of birth, email and shipping address, usernames and the user’s actual names,” an email sent by festival producers stated. “Although Coachella user account and accounts for purchasing tickets are different, users are still at risk if they have the same username and password for both accounts which is an unsafe method,” Coachella officials stated. The accounts allow users to post on Coachella message board and also to activate their wristbands. Although the festival ticketing accounts were not affected, it is important for the attendees to change their password as a safety measure,” officials advised.
Hackers have become a headache in the society most especially the online society. Hiding behind the darknet, they continue to stalk unsuspecting computer users and scam them. It is, however, alarming at the rate in which they are progressing. They are targeting large companies that hold an enormous percentage of accounts. Hackers also come up with new malicious methods of attacks including impersonation. The hackers impersonate themselves as job seekers and send emails to Human resource departments which are likely to open emails from people they do not know on a regular basis.