How to create a script that can purchase tickets. – Reddit
Everything you need to know about ticket bots – Queue-it
3. Who uses ticket bots?
When you think of the people behind ticket bots, you probably conjure up images of a hacker or criminal type, camped out in a basement. But the reality is different. For example, hospitality agencies can use ticket bots to snag premium seats to include in their package deals.
There are five main types of ticket bot operators, each with their own objectives.
Who launches bots
Scrape ticket details
Continuously scanning seat map inventory for newly released seats
Instantly purchase any available tickets for resale
Continuously scanning seat map inventory for premium seats
Instantly purchase best-available tickets for resale
Take over accounts to steal tickets or transfer to another account
Conduct credit card fraud and loyalty program fraud (e. g. sports team season ticket holders)
4. Are ticket bots illegal?
Online ticketing bots have been around for at least 20 years. But it’s only in the last 5 years that governments have begun targeting bots with legislation. Depending on where you live, online ticket bots might be illegal—at least technically speaking.
In 2016, the U. S. Congress passed the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act. It made it illegal to buy tickets to events by evading security measures and breaking purchasing rules set up by the ticket issuer. It also banned the resale of such illegally bought tickets.
RELATED: How the BOTS Act Impacts the Ticketing Industry [Webinar]
In April 2019, the European Union Parliament voted to ban the use of ticket bots, either to buy tickets for resale or “to bypass any other technical means put in place by the primary seller to ensure accessibility of tickets for all individuals. ” It also requires professional resellers to identify themselves on online marketplaces.
The legislation marks the first EU-wide legislation on the topic, and also leaves the door open for member states to pass additional laws regarding ticket resale (several already have such laws). The Council of the EU adopted the legislation in November 2019, so EU member states will now have two years to transform the regulations into national law.
In 2017, the U. K. passed a law that outlaws ticket bots used to exceed ticket purchase limits and requires secondary sellers to provide a unique ticket number with details of seats or standing location.
In 2017, the Australian state of New South Wales passed anti-bot legislation, which also included a resale cap at no more than 10% over the face value of the ticket. The following year, the state of South Australia ratified the Fair Trading (Ticket Scalping) Amendment Bill to crack down on ticketing bots.
Although there isn’t yet a nationwide ticket bot law in Canada, several provinces have passed or are considering legislation.
In 2017, Ontario province passed the Ticket Sales Act, which bans tickets from being resold at more than 50% above the face value and makes it illegal to knowingly resell tickets that were purchased by bots.
In 2018, Alberta province implemented their own ban, and British Columbia followed suit in 2019 with their own Ticket Sales Act, which also bans speculative ticket resale where the reseller doesn’t have the ticket in his or her possession.
5. Has legislation been effective?
Enforceability isn’t easy
Enforceability is an ever-present issue with ticketing legislation. Just because a law is on the books doesn’t mean it’s followed. Strong enforcement is necessary to curb illegal behavior.
Indeed, when the Ontario ban originally passed, attorney general Yasir Niqvi acknowledged the difficulty of enforcing the bot ban, as many bot operators are located outside of the province. He cited the 50% resale cap as an easier enforcement tool. Two years later, in 2019, Ontario’s government rolled back the 50% resale cap, saying it wasn’t enforceable.
Similarly, in the U. the BOTS Act’s bark has been worse than its bite. In 2018, two year’s after the BOTS Act’s passage, the Federal Trade Commission—the agency tasked with enforcing the law—couldn’t comment on any instances of enforcement.
Even when the law was passed, the Congressional Budget Office judged it unlikely that substantial enforcement would take place.
“CBO estimates that [revenues from civil penalties] would be insignificant because of the small number of cases that the agency would probably pursue. ”
The first (and so far only) BOTS Act enforcement action took place in 2021, when 3 New York-based ticket resellers were fined $31 million for buying more than 150, 000 tickets, circumnavigating Ticketmaster’s purchase limits and reselling for millions of dollars.
The financial incentives are too lucrative
Using bots to scalp tickets is a perfect example of rent-seeking behavior (economist talk for leeching) that adds no benefit to society. But as long as there’s a secondary market to sell tickets at markups of over 1, 000%, bad actors will fill the void to take advantage.
Indeed, the U. ticket resale market alone has ballooned to $5 billion. Ticketmaster reported that it blocks 5 billion bot attempts every month. The financial incentive is simply too strong and the threat of legal action too weak to stop malicious bot operators.
Legislation can’t keep up with the technology
In such a rapidly evolving space, legislation becomes outdated as soon as it’s passed. The U. BOTS Act, for example, doesn’t appear to apply to people who purchase tickets where they’ve only used bots to reserve the tickets (as Denial of Inventory bots do). The newest iteration of bots will continue to outpace and outmaneuver the legal roadblocks.
It’s clear that the ticketing industry cannot rely on legislation to solve the ticketing bot problem. The onus remains on venues, ticketing organizations, and online platforms to defend against malicious bots during online ticket sales. And companies that aren’t perceived as doing enough to battle bots are playing with fire. Public outrage can quickly turn on such organizations, and potential legal actions can follow in its footsteps.
RELATED: The Battle Between Bad Bots and Ticketing [Webinar]
6. How do you beat bad ticket bots?
Ticketing was the first industry to suffer the plague of bots. And given the fortune that successful bot operators can make, ticketing bots aren’t going away anytime soon.
We’ve seen limited impact from ticket bot legislation thus far. So ticketing organizations are best positioned to adapt to the constantly evolving bot threat.
A full-fledged plan to deal with ticket bots must span several levels, from concrete technical tactics to comprehensive bot mitigation solutions to larger ticketing strategy.
Monitoring is key because behavior is what helps you tell real fans from bad bots.
For example, we know the majority of stolen credentials fail during a credential stuffing attack. So, if you have monitoring that reports a sudden spike of traffic to the login page combined with a higher than normal failed login rate, it indicates account takeover attempts by bots.
Another example is if there is a high concentration of visitors using the same IP address. At Queue-it, we’ve found over 50% of the bots blocked by our virtual waiting room’s abuse and bot protection emanate from the same IP address. The bots are trying to simulate real users on a massive scale but getting unique IP addresses is an additional step that not all bot operators take.
Bot mitigation solutions
Bots have changed the economics of the ticketing business, so ticketing organizations need to change the economics of bot attacks. That means targeting each bot attack vector and increasing the costs bot operators incur in order to overcome the protections.
On account creation, for example, bot mitigation tools validate biometric data like mouse movements, mobile swipe, and accelerometer data to distinguish bots from real users, and then feed that data into machine learning algorithms. You can also block or enforce Google’s reCAPTCHA on traffic from known bot hosting providers and outdated browsers typically used to run ticket bots.
During the onsale itself, you can target the speed and volume advantages that bots enjoy. A tool like a virtual waiting room can help neutralize both. Bots that arrive before the onsale starts are placed in a pre-queue together with legitimate users. When the event launches, everyone in the pre-queue is randomized. This eliminates any advantage in arriving early or hitting the web page milliseconds after the start of the sale.
Ticketing organizations can require visitors to enter known data, such as a membership number, to enter the virtual waiting room. Combining known data like this makes impersonating real users exceptionally expensive and complex, and is thus a powerful way of combating bots’ volume advantage.
Finally, you can implement bot mitigation tactics on the ticket payment step similar to how you would on account creation to flag brute-force attacks like carding or card cracking. Stopping fraudulent account creation also helps prevent online card fraud.
New (and old) ticketing strategies
Shifts in ticketing strategies can play an equally vital role in battling bots. We’ve already seen several examples where ticket bot regulations also include caps on ticket resale prices to remove some of scalpers’ financial incentive.
With the expanded adoption of smartphones, mobile ticketing is a promising strategy to curb scalping. The paper ticket is “this paper entity that can be spoofed and subject to fraud, ” says Kristin Darrow, senior vice president at Tessitura Network. Mobile ticketing puts more control measures in place, such as tracking the transfer of tickets and limiting sales by geographic area. In 2019, Spanish festival Primavera Sound became the first major music festival to go completely mobile with their ticketing, and has features like a QR code that only appears two hours before the concert to keep tickets from being sold on secondary markets.
What’s old is also new again. Paperless ticketing—where the purchaser uses his or her credit card and a form of ID to enter the event instead of a ticket—”has been around for over 25 years, ” says ticketing insider Ian English. The strategy certainly has tradeoffs, in that it is rigid and can be difficult to transfer tickets or purchase on behalf of someone else. But it has documented effectiveness in battling scalpers and reducing tickets on the secondary market. High-demand shows like Hamilton continue to experiment with the approach.
7. Restoring fairness to online ticketing
The ultimate goal is to restore fairness to online ticketing. Here’s how Edward Roberts, Director of Product Marketing at Distil Networks (now part of Imperva), describes what fairness means to the different players in the ticketing industry:
For a fan, a fair experience is getting the same chance as any other fan to purchase available tickets at face value.
For an artist, it is getting tickets into the hands of enthusiastic fans into their shows.
For a ticketing company, it’s providing access to real humans to purchase the available tickets and eliminating any automation from abusing the system and ruining the ticketing buying experience for real fans.
With public outcry and artists’ frustration over ticketing bots at a boiling point, organizations that don’t take the problem seriously do so at their own peril.
But if you’re a ticketing organization and are committed to stopping ticket bots, there are tools and strategies at your disposal. Combined, you can tailor them to the unique angles of attack during each stage of the ticket-buying process to give you the best chance of achieving successful, bot-free onsales.
(This post has been updated since it was originally written in 2019).
The race is on to stop scalping bots from buying every single PS5
But the pandemic has kicked these bots into overdrive, and it’s not just the result of more aggressive sales events and shopping being pushed online (you can’t, obviously, have a retail bot camp out in front of your local GAME store). Damaged supply chains have limited the stock of usually plentiful items, creating scarcity, and scarcity is what scalpers prey on. “We used to see niche groups of people targeting niche groups of things, ” says Platt. “And now what we realise is they can target things that aren’t so niche, and they can make a lot of money. And that’s that’s the real switch for us. ”From gym equipment to hot tubs to Magic the Gathering trading cards, the net has widened for these groups, which have grown into huge communities. “It’s spreading across the board, ” says Jason Kent at Cequence Security, a cybersecurity software company. “The guys that worked on buying the most desirable shoes have realised that they can spread their knowledge, ability and concepts to whatever. ”Data provided by Netacea showed that a botnet which used 300 compromised machines made one million attempts to buy PS5s over six hours, and that “cook communities” of would-be scalpers can reach up to 20, 000 people. When Google searches for PS5 spike, so do those for scalper alpers are aware of this change, too. PC Gamer spoke to numerous scalpers who reported that their business had taken off since the pandemic began, while bot sellers like Carnage Bot have taken to Twitter to brag about picking up more than 2, 000 PS5s. The people behind Carnage Bot did not respond to a request for these figures are true, explains Platt, this represents around a £1 million worth of investment, with profits likely double that. “Before this was a small niche community, ” says Platt. “It wasn’t something being advertised on Facebook saying, ‘hey you can make £200 a month by buying what we tell you to buy. ’ That’s the real shift. These have turned into commercial businesses, with marketing plans, with investment, with budget, getting as much PR coverage as we are. ”Not only do these businesses have huge buying power, buying and selling stock all around the world, they sell on their bots to amateurs. These can be worth up to $27, 500, and often sell out, says Platt. Casual users of bots have grown accordingly. “They’ll buy two or three pairs of shoes, recover their money, get their shoes, and they’re done, ” says should we be stopping scalpers? From the perspective of a seller, scalping is a disaster, explains Fabre. It damages the brand, overloading websites that cannot handle volumes of bot traffic, infuriating customers who cannot buy products for reasonable prices, and generating fraud – bot creators often use fraudulent credit tailers have different options for stopping scalping. They can be smarter with their launch, for instance, not informing customers weeks in advance and giving scalpers time to set up their bots. They can hire third party security firms to check pre orders manually or place security filters in front of their sites. Or they can come up with novel workarounds: Currys put the price of the Xbox Series X up to £2, 000, then handed out vouchers for £2, 005, in an attempt to confuse bots. (Several retailers were contacted for comment but did not respond in time for publication, or declined to comment. )Government legislation has been mooted. At the end of last year Douglas Chapman, the MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, brought forward a motion at Westminster to prevent unfair scalping in the games console and computer marketplace. Officials at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are reportedly discussing this issue with the trade association for the video games industry. “We proposed examining the principles behind Secondary Selling of Tickets legislation drafted to tackle unfair ticket touting as a possible route to prevent scalping, ” says Chapman. “Given that experts in the cyber industry now predict the issue of scalping to grow across other important goods and services this year, we are looking at presenting a Bill in Parliament on this matter so that we can further explore legislative options to protect consumers from this unfair practice. “This chimes with most people’s perception – retail bots aren’t fair. “It is not even or equal for anyone, ” says Platt. “And that’s why the government should be pushing legislation, like they did with ticketing. ”More great stories from WIRED This is what will happen to Covid-19 when the pandemic is over Need a screen break, but trapped inside? These are the best board games for two players The dodgy instant loan apps plaguing Google’s Play Store Listen to The WIRED Podcast, the week in science, technology and culture, delivered every Friday Follow WIRED on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn
Frequently Asked Questions about how to create a bot to buy tickets
How do you set up a ticket bot?
Scalpers and their weapon of choice – retail bots. … The instant an item drops the bot will buy it and checkout, faster than a human could ever type their details. These bots, explains Platt, will have multiple accounts loaded with multiple credit cards, so they can pick up large quantities of PS5s.Jan 30, 2021
How do scalpers buy so fast?
Specifically, the BOTS Act makes it illegal to “circumvent a security measure, access control system, or other technological control or measure on an Internet website or online service that is used by the ticket issuer to enforce posted event ticket purchasing limits or to maintain the integrity of posted online ticket …Apr 7, 2017
Is it legal to bot a government website?
A ticket discord bot is a software program that automates the online search process for tickets on online platforms. … The speed brought about by the ticket discord bot ensures hundreds of bots can automatically be scanned through complex bulk files and identified.