StubHub, the online event tickets vendor owned by Ebay, suffered a large denial-of-service attack which led to the shutdown of its website in Brazil, just as it was poised to serve as a marketplace for tickets to the country's upcoming World Cup.
Both FIFA, the soccer body running the tournament in June and July, and the Brazilian government have insisted that all sales should come directly from FIFA. Nevertheless, a large number of opportunities to buy second-hand tickets have popped up in Brazil and around the world since official sales began.
A spokesperson for StubHub confirmed on Tuesday that there had been a "huge DOS attack on the site from Brazil," which caused the company to decide to deny access within the country as it investigated.
Users attempting to log in from Brazil encountered an error message, where before last week they could browse extensive options for World Cup match tickets. Unlike many local vendors, StubHub fully guarantees all tickets sold.
"All World Cup tickets are fully guaranteed, just like any other ticket on our site," said the spokesperson. "We do quite a bit of cross-border trade from Brazil."
A spokesperson for the Brazilian government said that there had been no government action against either Ebay or StubHub in Brazil, but reaffirmed the Sports Ministry's position that match tickets could only be purchased at the official FIFA website.
World Cup organizers expect 600,000 foreign visitors to the country for the tournament, far fewer than the 3 million Brazilians expected to travel within the country for the games.
StubHub says it is still to be determined when the site will again be operational.