FBI Investigating Rockies Ticketing Meltdown

The FBI is investigating after the Colorado Rockies blamed an “external, malicious attack” for the meltdown that prevented fans from buying World Series tickets.

From ESPN:

We are going to be opening up a case looking into the possible compromise of the Web server in Irvine,” said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles.

The Irvine, Calif., Web servers are operated by Paciolan Inc., which handled the ticket sale.

Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB.com, Major League Baseball’s Internet wing, has said the system had been overloaded by powerful computers programmed to constantly generate five-digit codes that are meant to prove that an actual human is trying to buy tickets. Bowman said those computers were blocked from buying tickets but their attempts to connect weren’t discarded, allowing them to clog the system and ultimately knock it down.

The meltdown didn’t go over to well with Rockies fans, some of whom were said to have been chanting “We want tickets!” outside the Rockies’ offices.

FBI opens investigation into ‘attack’ on Rockies ticket system [ESPN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Galls says:

    Well at least they know where the attack originated from.

    I would be fine if we just separated that third rate city and its consistently drunk citizens from the country.

    That traitor Rudy can go to hell also.

  2. AndyMan1 says:

    the system had been overloaded by powerful computers programmed to constantly generate five-digit codes that are meant to prove that an actual human is trying to buy tickets.

    This story is *much* more amusing if you picture them misinterpreting the ginormous influx of traffic from actual people who can’t read captchas.


  3. rmuser says:

    THE web server? As in, singular? I think that’s the real problem here.

  4. Antediluvian says:

    @Galls: What the hell are you talking about? What city? Boston, New York, Denver, or Irvine?

  5. Buran says:

    Good thing to know the FBI cares more about some website failing to have enough capacity (I doubt this was a deliberate DDOS, just stupidity on some scalpers’ part) than it does about hard-core criminals who want to do actual harm to people, as in rape, injure, torture, kill, etc.

  6. GitEmSteveDave says:

    @Buran: Well, since the FBI has divisions and departments, I’m guessing just those that are tasked to handle computer and internet crimes are handling this case. The ones who profile serial killers, track criminals, and search for aliens probably weren’t involved in this.

  7. Sonnymooks says:


    You just reminded me of a story one of my cop friends told me a few days ago.

    They arrested a burglar who had robbed several apartments, when they brought him in, he was yelling at them about how come they don’t catch “real criminals” like rapists and murderers instead of wasting their time catching him.

    I was cracking up.

  8. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Meh. The Rockies are 0-2 in the World Series. You didn’t really want those tickets anyway.

  9. Adam Hyland says:

    I’d wager that the company has a pretty hefty QoS clause in their contract with the rockies, and in order to get out of it, would have to classify the server crashes as a malicious attack.

    Not saying that scalpers didn’t cause it, but I’m going to guess that it wasn’t their intent to cause a DDoS. I’ll instead wager that their intent was t buy as many tickets as possible. we will never know if the ticket server would have dropped like a rock under the regular load, but it certainly didn’t know how to deal with requests that were outside (maybe) protocol.

    Shame on the company for getting slashdotted and brining the feds in because of it.

  10. tadowguy says:

    I guess my company was one of the 31337 hax0rs. We have several thousand people in Colorado behind one web proxy server. I can’t wait for the FBI to raid us.

  11. bentcorner says:

    The story isn’t from ESPN. It’s from the Associated Press and ESPN just republished it like a lot of other websites did.

    The four-letter sports network does very little reporting of the news. They mostly just recycle the reporting done by others.

  12. anatak says:

    can we get the FBI to investigate the Rockies’ meltdown?