By Gretchen Berger
The Metropolitan Opera is still reeling from a cyberattack on its website that disrupted and caused its box-office ticketing to come to a screeching halt last week. The cyberattack also hit the Met’s computer system, call center, and website, which normally process more than $200,000 daily in ticket sales. According to various news reports, the motive or identity of the hackers hasn’t yet been identified, but the Met is working with cybersecurity experts. The FBI is also on the case.
Whether Russia is involved in the hack is unknown, but The New York Times observed the following: “The Met has been outspoken in its support of Ukraine during the Russian invasion, organizing a concert this year to benefit relief efforts in the country and parting ways with Anna Netrebko, the Russian soprano, after she failed to comply with the company’s demand that she distance herself from President Vladimir V. Putin.”
After the attack, the Met Opera (@MetOpera) tweeted:
Important Ticketing Update: While the cyberattack against the Met continues to impact our network, we are grateful to our friends @LincolnCenter, who have allowed us to offer tickets to select performances through their website.
According to Crain’s NY, all planned performances have continued throughout the disruption, but the company has been unable to make new ticket sales, process rush tickets, or issue exchanges. Payroll and other key internal system are also down.
This comes at a particularly bad time for the Met, which is emerging from a one-and-a-half year hiatus and faced plummeting sales during the COVID pandemic. Box-office issues continue to complicate and impede the company’s financial health and recovery.
To help out during this crisis, Lincoln Center is selling tickets to Met performances, which were made available Friday for just $50 a ticket on their website. For ticket sales info, click here.
Update: The Metropolitan Opera website was restored around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 15. They posted the following on their website:
“After suffering a cyberattack that temporarily impacted our network systems, we’re pleased to announce that the Met is now able to process ticket orders through our website and in person at our box office. Based upon our ongoing investigations into the recent cyberattack, we would like to reassure our customers that ticketing customer data, including credit card information used when purchasing tickets, has not been stolen. We do not keep credit card information in the systems that were affected by the cyberattack. Thank you for your patience.”
Met General Manager Peter Gelb “tamped down the theory” that Russia was behind the hack, according to The New York Times, “saying that the attack appeared to be the work of an organized criminal gang.”
Correction: We originally wrote that the outage occurred on December 9th. It was days earlier, although exactly when is not clear. We are continuing to investigate.