New Report Shows Ticketing Industry Suffers From Continuous Automated Abuse, With 39.9 Percent of all Traffic Originating from Bots

February 26, 2019

Distil Research Lab examines how bots prevent consumers from buying tickets

ARLINGTON, VA – February 28, 2019 – Distil Networks, the global leader in bot mitigation, today released the first in-depth study into the impact of bots on the ticketing industry titled, “How Bots Affect Ticketing.” Developed by the Distil Research Lab, a team of dedicated analysts who examine the most sophisticated automated threats, this report analyzed 26.3 billion requests from 180 domains between September and December 2018, finding that nearly 40 percent of ticketing traffic is comprised of bad bots. The report also found a prominence of ticketing bots in the United States, despite legislative action and growing pressure from artists to intervene.

Bots are leveraged by brokers, scalpers, hospitality agencies, and other criminals to execute a number of attacks, including denial of inventory, spinning and scalping, scraping seat map inventory, fan account takeover, and fraud. This unwanted activity not only leads to high infrastructure costs and poor website performance, but it also compromises the integrity of ticketing websites and impacts the user experience.

“Although the ticketing industry has led the way in terms of bot legislation, as seen with the BOTS Act in the U.S. and similar rulings in Ontario, the U.K., Australia and more, websites still face a huge hurdle when protecting against bad bots,” said Tiffany Kleemann, CEO of Distil Networks. “These automated tools attack ticketing websites every day, leveraging more advanced and nuanced techniques that evade detection. Whether a venue, primary marketplace, or secondary marketplace, any website that sells tickets can fall prey to this criminal activity, and a better understanding of the threat landscape can ensure the proper protective protocol is put in place.”

Key Findings:

  • 39.9 percent of ticketing traffic is comprised of bad bots
  • Primary markets have a higher volume of bot traffic (42.2 percent) of bot traffic compared to secondary markets (23.9 percent) and venues (26.5 percent)
  • 78 percent of bots on ticketing websites are classified as sophisticated or moderately sophisticated, with more human-like characteristics that often evade detection
  • 85 percent of the bad bots launched against ticketing companies originated in North America
  • 42.4 percent of bad bots report Chrome as their user agent

To download a full copy of the report, please visit: https://resources.distilnetworks.com/whitepapers/bad-bots-and-ticketing


About Distil Networks
Distil Networks, the global leader in bot mitigation, protects websites, mobile apps, and APIs from automated threats. Fraudsters, hackers, and competitors use bots to commit online fraud, break into customer accounts, and gain an unfair competitive advantage. As the sheer volume, sophistication, and business damage of these attacks grow, bots put a costly strain on IT staff and resources. Only Distil’s unique, more holistic approach provides the vigilant service, superior technology, and industry expertise needed for full visibility and control over this abusive traffic. The Distil team pioneered bot mitigation in 2011, and has been leading the way ever since. With Distil, there is finally a defense against automated attacks that is as adaptable and vigilant as the threat itself.

For more information on Distil, visit https://www.distilnetworks.com/block-bot-detection/ or follow @DISTIL on Twitter.

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