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Submission + - Scalpers earn $25 million hacking ticket sites (wired.com)

SeattleGameboy writes: Online ticket brokers known as 'Wiseguy Tickets and Seats of San Francisco' used bots, server farms, and CAPTCHA hacking to buy vast number of premium tickets (Springsteen, Miley Cyrus, NFL and MLB Playoffs, etc.) and made $25 million in profits.

They wrote a script that impersonated users trying to access Facebook, and downloaded hundreds of thousands of possible CAPTCHA challenges from reCAPTCHA. They identified the file ID of each CAPTCHA challenge and created a database of CAPTCHA “answers” to correspond to each ID. The bot would then identify the file ID of a challenge at Ticketmaster and feed back the corresponding answer. The bot also mimicked human behavior by occasionally making mistakes in typing the answer, the authorities said.

I guess you can break systems like CAPTCHA if want it bad enough.

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Scalpers earn $25 million hacking ticket sites

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