Touts hack World Cup computers

Scalpers jump the queue to score tickets

Touts have hacked into the World Cup ticketing computers to jump phone queuing systems and order seats, according to reports in Japan.

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that Japan's World Cup organising committee uses a standard telephone reservation system where callers dial a hotline number and are put through to one of several confidential numbers, where calls are answered by operators or a computer.

But touts have cracked the system's perimeter security to locate the confidential numbers and hooked up computerised dialling software to groups of telephone lines to stand a better chance of getting through and placing orders.

"Including the tickets I bought over the phone, I managed to get about 20 tickets for three Japan matches, which I've sold for about 150,000 yen (£815) each," one tout told the newspaper.

Earlier police threats to prosecute ticket agencies buying from touts, resulting in the scalpers being left with unsold tickets and empty seats in stadiums hosting group stage games, have failed to materialise.

And now the touts are cashing in, the paper said.

Separately, The Times reported today that a large number of organised black marketeers from Merseyside have also been operating in the country.

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