Six charged in global e-ticket hacking scheme

July 23, 2014
Tickets are offered for sale through StubHub on July 23, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois

Criminal charges were filed Wednesday against six people in what authorities said was a global cyber-crime ring that created fraudulent e-tickets for major concerts and sporting events.

According to the Manhattan district attorney's office, the cyber-gang was able to hack into the ticketing group StubHub, a unit of eBay, to take over user accounts, steal personal information and create fraudulent electronic tickets to concerts by Elton John and Jay-Z, sporting events including Yankees baseball games, and Broadway shows such as Book of Mormon.

An estimated 1,600 StubHub users had their accounts compromised in the scheme, according to the investigation by US, British, Canadian and other law enforcement authorities.

"Today's arrests and indictment connect a global network of hackers, identity thieves, and money-launderers who victimized countless individuals in New York and elsewhere," District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.

One of the members of the group, 30-year-old Russian national Vadim Polyakov, was arrested July 3 in Spain on an international arrest warrant, officials said.

Authorities said Polyakov and others used the hijacked StubHub accounts to create some 3,500 e-tickets sold within hours of some popular events.

The group distributed the proceeds through a global network of accomplices in the United States, Britain, Russia, and Canada, according to a statement from Vance's office.

Also charged were Russian nationals Nikolay Matveychuk and Sergei Kirin, and Americans Laurence Brinkmeyer, Daniel Petryszyn and Bryan Caputo.

A spokeswoman for the office said Caputo and Petryszyn would be appearing in a New York court on the charges.

StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman welcomed the arrests and said it learned of the attacks last year.

"In 2013, StubHub was alerted to a small number of accounts that had been illegally taken over by fraudsters," he said.

"Since then, StubHub has been working in close collaboration with law enforcement agencies around the world to find those responsible and bring them to justice. Our investigation of these unauthorized transactions led to the case being opened by the New York City District Attorney's Office. This combined effort culminated with the arrests announced today."

The news came months after eBay said cyber-attackers broke into its database with customer names, passwords and other personal data earlier, potentially affecting eBay's 128 million active users.

Explore further: Thieves got into 1,000 StubHub accounts

Related Stories

Thieves got into 1,000 StubHub accounts

July 23, 2014

(AP)—Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said.

Dozens charged in NY in global computer virus scam

September 30, 2010

(AP) -- Hackers in eastern Europe who used computer viruses to steal usernames and passwords teamed up with foreign students who opened bank accounts in the U.S. to snatch at least $3 million from American bank accounts, ...

Chinese man accused of hacking into US computers

July 12, 2014

U.S. authorities have charged a Chinese businessman with hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies with large defense contracts, including Boeing, to steal data on military projects, including some of its latest ...

Recommended for you

Enhancing solar power with diatoms

October 20, 2017

Diatoms, a kind of algae that reproduces prodigiously, have been called "the jewels of the sea" for their ability to manipulate light. Now, researchers hope to harness that property to boost solar technology.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.