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Malicious outside software may have interfered with the Brown Concert Agency's ticketing website Wednesday morning. BCA made Spring Weekend concert tickets available for sale at 8 a.m., but students were unable to access the website until 8:30 a.m.

"As many are likely aware, the TouchNet server that handles our online ticket sales (had) some trouble this morning," read a notice on BCA's website posted Wednesday morning. "As of now, all we know is that there was (an) artificially high number of requests to the TouchNet server that are likely the result of malicious software, rather than any problems stemming from BCA, (Brown Student Agencies) or TouchNet itself," read another notice posted later in the day.

One thousand tickets for each day of the event went on sale at 8 a.m. on Brown Marketplace. BCA had worked with BSA — which manages the site where tickets were sold — and TouchNet, the company that manages the server, to ensure that high activity to the site would not cause the server to crash, said Abby Schreiber '11, BCA's booking chair.  

Students were frustrated by the website's problems. "The website crashed three times in the process of putting (the tickets) in my cart," said Ben Peipert '13, adding that he was able to buy his tickets after 35 minutes of reloading the page.

"I got on before eight and refreshed the page, but it wouldn't load," said Joshua Prenner '14, who said he was unable to purchase tickets.

Based on last year's online ticket sales, students said they were not surprised by the website's slow speed.

Last year,"I waited up until 8:30  and didn't get tickets," Peipert said.

"I kind of expected it," Prenner added. "I heard the site crashes." But he said he thought the sales might go smoother because tickets are being released over the span of three days.

"After it happened last year, we were frustrated and upset, so we really sat down to strategize," Schreiber said. Part of the strategy was stretching the process over three days and limiting ticket sales to one per student, she said.

"Although the situation is still being fully diagnosed, it is my understanding that whatever slight delay there was today was not necessarily related to what happened last year, as extra precautions were made by Brown — BCA and BSA — and TouchNet to address the issues from last year," she wrote in an email to The Herald.

"Anything that was in our control, we did," Schreiber said, adding that the problems are not "an issue of human error on the part of BCA, BSA or even the company handling the sales."

BCA posted on its website this morning that the issues would be resolved for today's and tomorrow's sales, but an updated post later in the day did not mention how the problems would affect later sales.  

Schreiber said she is not worried, and students should not be either. "Take a deep breath — we have two more days of ticket sales," she said.


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