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Man jailed for Hellfest cyberattack

A computer scientist has been sentenced to a month in prison for hacking into the onsale for French metal festival Hellfest.

On 9 October, the man took the festival’s ticketing servers offline by sending 46,000 simultaneous connections to its Weezevent-powered box office, a court in Bobigny, Paris, heard. The man works in cybersecurity and is part of a group of hackers, but had no previous criminal convictions, according to 20 Minutes.

Found guilty of “fraudulent [activities] in an automated data-processing system”, the man was fined, in addition to the one-month jail term. The prosecution had pushed for a three-month suspended sentence.

The hacker told he wanted to buy tickets for Hellfest 2020 without “having to queue”

While the hacker reportedly told police that he wanted to buy tickets for Hellfest 2020 without “having to queue”, festival director Ben Berbaud tells Ouest-France the man did not buy a single pass. (During the half-hour cyberattack, all other buyers were presented with an error page.)

Even with the downtime, the festival sold out all 55,000 three-day passes in an hour and a half.

Hellfest 2020, the 15th edition of the event, takes place 19–31 June 2020. Hellfest 2019 performers included Kiss, Tool, Manowar, Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Whitesnake and Slayer.


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