FBI investigates Rockies ticket ‘attack’
October 26, 2007
DENVER ” The FBI has opened an investigation after the Colorado Rockies claimed an “external, malicious attack” on computer servers brought down the club’s first attempt to sell World Series tickets.
Computer servers handling the online-only sale were overwhelmed by 8.5 million hits in the first 90 minutes Monday, paralyzing the system and forcing the Rockies to suspend the sale.
“We are going to be opening up a case looking into the possible compromise of the Web server in Irvine, (Calif.)” said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles.
The Irvine 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.
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The Rockies’ second attempt went better, with fans snapping up more than 50,000 tickets in 2 1-2 hours on Tuesday.
Games 3 and 4 will be played in Denver on Saturday and Sunday. Game 5, if necessary, will be Monday in Denver.
The Red Sox hold a 2-0 lead over the Rockies.