200 Silicon Valley software engineers found a loophole in Burning Man’s ticketing website and managed to jump to the front of the virtual line during the event’s ticket sale on Feb. 18.
With wait times erratically fluctuating from “18-minutes” to “over an hour” and back to “30-minutes” again, veteran Burners and newcomers alike were already fuming with ticket provider Ticketfly, and news of the hackers snatching tickets only served to rub salt in their wounds, especially after the festival had sold out before many people could even break the waiting line.
Wired correspondent and defense corporation software engineer Michael Vacirca explained how the ticketing breach happened:
“They left code in the page that allowed you to generate the waiting room URL ahead of time. If you knew how to form the URL based on the code segment then you could get in line before everyone else who clicked right at noon.”
Burning Man have since ensured that everyone involved in the breach will be stripped of their tickets and that they will be made available during Burning Man’s OMG Sale in August.
If you were one of the many Burner hopefuls who did not snag a ticket to this year’s festival there are still a couple opportunities to get a ticket:
March 12 – Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) opens to those who wish to purchase a ticket. STEP is Burning Man’s own ticket resale program that will remain open until July 24.
Aug. 5 – OMG Sale starts for those last-minute candidates. Limited tickets will be available during the OMG Sale but this is also when the hackers’ tickets will be resold to the public.
For more info about Burning Man, head to their website here.