Met Opera Cyberattack May Be More Severe Than We Thought

By Michael Vincent on December 12, 2022

After being targeted by a cyberattack last week, the Metropolitan Opera computer systems have been shut down.

The timing could not be worse as the Met Opera sells $200,000 tickets daily during the holidays.

Why it matters

The Metropolitan Opera has been struggling to recover from the financial instability caused by disruptions from the pandemic. The Met reported disappointing results after just 61% of tickets sold. Across 196 staged performances, sales were down 75% from the last season before the pandemic hit in 2018-19.

Three days following the cyberattack that crippled its website and box office, the Met Opera stated that it would begin selling $50 flat-rate tickets to some shows via a site maintained by Lincoln Center.

In a statement to the New York Times, Met’s general manager Peter Gelb stated it would take several more days to restore the Met’s ticketing site. The attack also disrupted the company’s internal networks, including its payroll system.

“It takes time because when you have been hacked, you have to be sure that whatever functions are going back online are not going to be compromised,” Gelb explained.

While all performances of “Aida” and “The Hours” have gone on as scheduled, the Met has been unable to sell tickets, even its last-minute rush ticket program.

Who is responsible? 

Gelb stated that the Met was still determining who was responsible for the cyberattack and evaluating the damage.

More damage

The Musikverein, Vienna’s premiere concert hall, reported it was also targeted by a cyberattack attack which took the website down.

The Musikverein blamed the issues on malware. However, unlike the Met Opera, their internal systems were not affected.

Cyberattacks explained

Cyberattacks are malicious attempts to access or damage a computer or network system. For example, in a Ransomware attack, criminals use malicious software to encrypt a victim’s files. The attackers then demand a ransom from the victim to restore access to the files, often threatening to delete the files permanently if the ransom is not paid. Ransomware attacks can cause significant disruption and financial loss and can be very difficult to recover from.

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