The official Coachella website is the latest to become the subject of a hack. Thousands of users may have had their personal information compromised after the site was recently compromised.
According to a report via Billboard Magazine, concert promoter Goldenvoice confirmed the hack and informed Coachella users on Tuesday, February 28, of a data breach. Names, email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, and other sensitive information may have been stolen by the hackers. However, credit card information and passwords were not compromised during the hack.
Festivalgoers use a separate site from Coachella.com to purchase tickets and VIP passes, according to Billboard Magazine.
“We recently discovered that unauthorized third parties illegally gained access to the usernames, first and last names, shipping addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth individuals provided to Coachella. We have confirmed that no user passwords were stolen.
“Based on our investigation, no financial information was accessed, and there is no indication that customer financial information has been disclosed. We have taken measures to block further unauthorized access, and reported the matter to the appropriate authorities for further investigation. We regret any inconvenience this incident may have caused.”
Coachella officials advise users to change their passwords, especially if they use the same password for other accounts. There is nothing else that users will need to do, besides be aware of email phishing scams and other suspicious requests asking to log in to your account verify sensitive information. It’s also strongly suggested that users use encryption or double-verification settings on Gmail and Facebook and use a password vault to store passwords, reports Amplify Magazine.
“Be aware that you may be targeted by phishing emails sent from people impersonating Coachella personnel. Please remember that Coachella will never solicit personal information or account information from you via email. Please exercise caution if you receive any emails or phone calls that ask for such information, or direct you to web sites where you are asked for personal or financial information.”
The hackers may not do much with the information they obtained. The personal information that is stolen is not any different than the information that marketing list companies sell and trade amongst each other. This information is only valuable to other festival promoters and concert organizers, but purchasing the information and using it for marketing purposes is illegal.
According to Vice, a hacker using the handle @berkut from the dark website Tochka is taking credit for the Coachella hack. He wanted to sell the information from the database for $300. He attempted the hack using a Tor browser. Though he no longer sells the Coachella information, he was caught trying to sell other stolen data from an e-commerce site based out of Mumbai, India. He was also caught using stolen information from policeone.com, a news and message board for law enforcement officials.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) February 23, 2017
Tony Coulson, a Cal State San Bernardino professor and cyber security expert, explained to CBS Los Angeles how a hacker could use the information.
“Hacking techniques are getting more and more sophisticated, and there’s fewer people to defend against them in the cyber security profession,” Coulson said.
Let's party in the desert! ????✌️???? pic.twitter.com/2SYOv7TscF
— xoxo, Joanne (@ladygaga) March 1, 2017
The site to register a new account on Coachella.com remains active. This is just the latest news of bad press for Coachella after the announcement made on late Tuesday that Lady Gaga will replace Beyoncé as one of the festival’s headliners, reports Billboard. Insiders close to the outdoor music festival insisted that booking Lady Gaga was not a last-minute decision. They claim they had many big-name artists in mind, including Adele, Rihanna, and Nine Inch Nails.
A Coachella gig could work in Lady Gaga’s favor since she’s been promoting her stripped down album, Joanne.
[Featured image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella]