[cryptography] CAPTCHA as a Security System?

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Mon Jan 2 18:38:31 EST 2012


On Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM, Randall  Webmail <rvh40 at insightbb.com> wrote:
> My neighborhood Wal*Mart has pretty much eliminated cashiers in favor of
> self-checkouts.
>
>[...]
> Wal*Mart is not stupid.   They know full well that a certain percent of
> shoppers will indeed walk out with a certain amount of goods, every day.

Yes, but this is not the same situation as with Ticketmaster.  The
equivalent for Ticketmaster would be scalpers who go through the
captcha many times, by hand, *slowly*, and who adhere to per-person
purchase limits or who make minimal efforts to get on a bit past such
limits -- something Ticketmaster may be willing to tolerate.

To do much better than slow down the scalpers Ticketmaster would have
to either do a lot of work (with payments system providers' help) to
ensure that payments are not anonymous and that the there is one
person per ticket purchase for any one event, or else they'd have to
auction off the tickets so as to find the market price for them.  I'm
not sure as to the feasibility of the former, particularly when
Ticketmaster can probably get the law to help, but I'd prefer the
latter.  (Perhaps because I'm not going to bother camping out for
bracelets and I can probably afford free market rates for the events I
want to attend!)

Nico
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