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Breaking Captchas Could Soon Become Illegal


tansqrx

According to a story at Wired.com, Threat Level Blog (https://www.wired.com/2010/10/hacking-captcha/), a US federal judge has decided to let a case involving a ticket reseller to go forward and has set a trial date of March 1, 2011. This case involves a âshadyâ ticket reseller called Wiseguy Tickets and Seats of San Francisco that buys bulk tickets from companies such as TicketMaster and then resells the tickets at a much higher price. The problem is that TicketMaster and other sellers have explicit terms of service statements that forbid buying bulk tickets or in some cases, even reselling the tickets at all. The original ticket sellers tried to thwart these bulk buying activities by implementing a CAPTCHA system which would stop anyone or anything that is not human from buying tickets. The basis of the case is that the defendant illegally accessed the ticket buying site by bypassing the CAPTCHA system.

The defendants have been charged with wire fraud and with violating the anti-hacking Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, in an elaborate scheme that allegedly used a network of bots and other deceptive means to bypass CAPTCHA and grab more than 1 million tickets for concerts and sporting events. They made more than $25 million in profits from the resale of the tickets between 2002 and 2009.

This could have wide reaching judicial impact because a ruling in favor of the prosecutors (the US government) would in essence make the civil act of breaking a contract (in this case breaking the TOS) into a criminal act. This is one of the main reasons that the cyber bulling case of Lori Drew was thrown out.

Quatrux

So if I will break any captcha somewhere else from other country, it will have no effect on me? Or if I'll have a blog with different techniques and tutorials how to break captchas and similar stuff, it won't have any effect on me?I don't see any problem, CAPTCHA is not the best way to avoid not human users to do something, it's the same as buying and selling a simple lock for everyone which can be unlocked by a lot of people with an universal key and say that anyone who has that universal key and will unlock that door will be a criminal, even though the example is kind of bad, but still, that website service should create a better lock.Besides I hate CAPTCH'as which are very "strong" that even I can't really read them.And the reselling matter, it's a problem in all the countries of the world, people buy all the tickets in the first 30 minutes and for the rest 3 months they sell them for a higher price, it's really a problem in most countries.


yordan

it's the same as buying and selling a simple lock for everyone which can be unlocked by a lot of people with an universal key and say that anyone who has that universal key and will unlock that door will be a criminal, even though the example is kind of bad, but still, that website service should create a better lock.

Perfectlyl, it's exactly the same case.If I my door is not locked and you enter my home and take away everything you want, if you are caught you say "Oh, sorry, I didn't realize that I was not in my own home. You should have locked your door".
But if my door is locked, your home key will not open it. So, if you deliberately use a universal key (or a piec of wood found in the garden or any other non-standard instrument) in order to unlock my door, then you are guilty, and you could be punished more strongly because you deliberately used forbidden instruments.

tansqrx

The biggest problem with the case is that the government wants to make breaking a terms of service (TOS) agreement into a crime punishable under the criminal and not the civil system. This would mean that if you have ever lied about your true name or perhaps age while registering on a site, you could go to jail. You are technically breaking the TOS by lying.Or maybe you made more than one account on Hotmail when the TOS said you could only have one account?The list is endless, especially if you have ever read any of those 100 page terms of service agreements. If the government can prove that you broke any part of the TOS, they can throw you in jail. As it stands now, breaking a TOS is a civil matter where you can be sued but you can’t be thrown in jail by the government. In my opinion, very scary stuff.


Soviet Rathe

This post made me lol. seriously. bypassing captchas??? ILLEGAL??? LOLalong with exploits, there are decaptcher services that charge almost nothing. the services can be added to bots, and they will fill in the captchas for you.but bypassing captchas.. illegal... really.. they might as well make spam illegal while their at it.. never gonna happen.


mahesh2k

Spam is already illegal in almost every country where there is cyber law. Making ANTI-CAPTCHA bots illegal is on the way. There are some human recruiters who do the jobs for captach breaking just in few cents. This is the reason they are acting very harshly on this business which is good as well. You need to be secure against spam by making anti-captcha services and bots illegal.Never gonna happen ? far fetched. SPAM is illegal in US and facebook sued one marketer for spamming on profile. I guess you know this case right ?


Soviet Rathe

Spam is already illegal in almost every country where there is cyber law. Making ANTI-CAPTCHA bots illegal is on the way. There are some human recruiters who do the jobs for captach breaking just in few cents. This is the reason they are acting very harshly on this business which is good as well. You need to be secure against spam by making anti-captcha services and bots illegal.
Never gonna happen ? far fetched. SPAM is illegal in US and facebook sued one marketer for spamming on profile. I guess you know this case right ?

No I don't know a case like that, you have a link?

also, bots are a good way of getting free stuff/money, I make my own for promos/freebies etc etc

tansqrx

Hate to break it to you Rathe, but what you are doing right now is also illegal, at least in a civil court. The least that could happen is your bots will get banned from the service. The most at this point is a civil fine that could be in the thousands of dollars. The problem is the government might be able to also throw you in jail.I don’t agree with the laws either but they are still on the books in the US, like it or not. Most everyone will agree that US laws also have a far reaching impact. Even if you live in Russia.


Atomic0

Rather than attempting to stop bulk ticket buyers and their automated bots by using CAPTCHAs on their ticketing system, maybe they should instead limit the number that can be purchased per person or a certain address.On the topic of CAPTCHAs, they are getting more and more difficult to read especially for us humans, as CAPTCHA developers are trying to thwart Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software from being able to decipher characters from the generated CAPTCHA images.


mahesh2k

No I don't know a case like that, you have a link?
also, bots are a good way of getting free stuff/money, I make my own for promos/freebies etc etc



Here is the link for the facebook spammer being fined. Sorry but what you're doing is illegal and is costing many people their comfort and money. You should definitely stop what you're doing with bots and all. Why you're using bots for freebies and promos ? are you spamming on mail or on blogs or forums ? if you're doing anything like that then that is also illegal. Using these bots is also illegal on Xisto or on Xisto - Web Hosting. I am sure you know that and will stay away from such business if you're planning to do anything like that on asta.


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