Bots have been in existence for many decades and come in all shapes and sizes. Whilst good bots can perform helpful functions, bad bots can interact with applications in the same way a legitimate user would, enabling high-speed abuse, misuse, and attacks on websites and APIs. They enable attackers, unsavoury competitors, and fraudsters to perform an array of malicious activities.  Such activities include web scraping, competitive data mining, personal and financial data harvesting, account takeover, digital ad fraud, spam, and transaction fraud.The difficulty with bad bot behaviour is in identifying its origin. Furthermore, bringing legal recourse against bot operators is both costly and time-consuming.

Bad bot behaviour in ticketing presents a number of problems, resulting in a poor fan experience, increased fan complaints, decreased conversion rates, increased charge-backs, increased fraud rates, damage to brand and a financial impact.

Bad Bot Issues in Ticketing

  • Account Takeover – Stolen credentials are run against websites in an attempt to gain access, resulting in financial fraud and an increase in charge backs
  • Account Creation – Free accounts created to gain access to offers and ticket sales which will then be sold by touts
  • Credit Card Fraud – Criminals testing credit card details they have purchased or stolen to buy tickets for re-sale
  • Denial of Service – Slows down the website performance impacting the amount tickets that can be sold
  • Denial of Inventory – Bots hold items in baskets preventing their sale to real customers

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What’s Ticketmaster doing about it?
We’ve partnered with leading bot defence platform Distil Netwoks to protect Ticketmaster Sport’s clients from the effect of malicious bot attacks. The Forrester New Wave™: Bot Management Q3 2018 research ranked Distil number one when it reviewed the 12 leading providers of bot management.

How it works:
The Distil platform blocks bots from hitting Ticketmaster Sport’s fan facing ticketing site, preventing them from being able attack API servers that would bring the website to a halt.  Distil validates that a browser is what it claims to be; that it has the correct JavaScript engine, is formatted correctly, and all components perform as they should. Ticketmaster’s Product Support team can then monitor bot traffic in the Distil Portal or on Ticketmaster’s own server logs, serve a CAPTCHA or an unblock verification form, or drop the page request outright via an access denied page.

The Benefits:
Our partnership with Distil Networks provides clients with a number of very important benefits including;

  • An increase in ticket sales, as only genuine fans will have access to the site without competing with bots
  • Improved onsale performance, as the site performance will not be impacted by thousands of bots attempting to hit the site and the queue to gain access will be made up of genuine fans
  • Enhanced fan experience, related to the site performance improvements, the process of purchasing via on-sales will be greatly improved for the fan
  • Reduction in financial fraud, by letting less fraudsters create accounts
  • Reduction in the number of complaints from fans, due to the improved overall performance of the site during on-sales and general use