Skiplagging, CAPTCHA vs Bots, Scraper Bots

Thursday, September 14th, 10:41 AM GMT / 12:41 PM CET
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Skiplagging, CAPTCHA vs Bots, Scraper Bots

Episode Description

Skiplagging, CAPTCHA vs Bots, Scraper Bots

This month’s episode takes off with a journey into the controversial world of skiplagging, also known as hidden city flying. Airlines and holiday businesses are taking legal action against passengers and websites like Skiplagged that exploit pricing loopholes, leaving empty seats on the second leg of multi-stop itineraries. But with scraper bots at the root of the issue, is there a technical solution to limit the practice?

On the topic of bots, a recent report from the University of California, Irvine, revealed that bots are now faster and more accurate than humans at solving CAPTCHA challenges. In this episode we discuss whether there is still a place for CAPTCHA in detecting bot traffic, and try to decipher Elon Musk’s comments about the report – Does it spell the end of bot detection, and is his X subscription model the only answer…?

To conclude, we go more in depth on scraper bots – not only do they facilitate skiplagging, but there are endless uses for scrapers, both well meaning and malicious. How concerned should businesses be about scraper bots, and does their presence often indicate more sinister attacks on the horizon?

Podcast Host

Danielle Middleton-Wren

Head of Media , Netacea

Dani is a cybersecurity writer and marketing specialist, who strives to decipher the mysteries behind complex cybersecurity subjects and deliver them to a wide audience. Since joining Netacea in 2019, Dani has used her experience in journalism and analyst relations to create compelling external communication strategies that effectively articulate the threat of automated attacks.

Podcast Guest

Matthew Gracey-McMinn

Head of Threat Research , Netacea

Matthew is an experienced Cyber Threat Intelligence professional with an MPhil from the University of Oxford. In his current role at Netacea, he researches and investigates the impact of malicious bots on online businesses and their customers.

Chris Collier

Head of Solution Engineering , Netacea

Chris is an experienced technical manager who joined Netacea in 2021. Since this time, he’s helped countless clients onboard with our bot management product, ensuring they get a solution that fits their business needs and integrates with their existing platforms.

Gary Clarke

Solutions Engineer , Netacea

Gaz is an experienced Solutions Engineer with 12 years’ experience working in the computer and retail industries. At Netacea Gaz helps businesses implement advanced bot management solutions to work in harmony with their existing systems and prevent automated threats from attacking. Gaz gained his bachelor’s degree focused in Computing; Software and Systems from Edge Hill University.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dani Middleton-Wren: Hello and welcome to Cyber Security Sessions.
I am Dani Middleton-Wren, Head of Media at Netacea. Today I am joined by Matthew Gracey-McMinn, Head of Threat Research at Netacea, Chris Collier, Head of Solutions Engineering, and Gaz Clark, Solutions Engineer. And we are going to be discussing skip lagging, and AI versus CAPTCHA, as well as our bot attack of the month, scraper bots.
So topic number one of today's podcast, we are going to cover skiplagging or hidden city ticketing. This is where instead of booking a direct flight to your intended destination, it's cheaper to book a flight elsewhere that has a connection at your intended destination. You then just don't board the next flight on your itinerary.
And airlines are battling to stop this practice because it is losing them money. American Airlines have taken the website SkipLagged to court and are reportedly banning passengers who use their services and cancelling their frequent flyer miles. Mean

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