Wiseguy scalpers bought tickets with CAPTCHA-busting botnet

    Date19 Nov 2010
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Three California men have pleaded guilty charges they built a network of CAPTCHA-solving computers that flooded online ticket vendors and snatched up the very best seats for Bruce Springsteen concerts, Broadway productions and even TV tapings of Dancing with the Stars. The men ran a company called Wiseguy Tickets, and for years they had an inside track on some of the best seats in the house at many events. They scored about 1.5 million tickets after hiring Bulgarian programmers to build "a nationwide network of computers that impersonated individual visitors" on websites such as Ticketmaster, MLB.com and LiveNation, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said Thursday in a press release.

    Kenneth Lowson, Kristofer Kirsch, and Joel Stevenson pleaded guilty to hacking and wire fraud charges Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Lowell and Kirsch face a maximum of five years in prison. Stevenson, who pleaded guilty to just one count of hacking, faces a year. They had been indicted in February and are now set to be sentenced on March 15, 2011.

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