Cybersecurity Sessions Season 2, Episode 5: Skiplagging, CAPTCHA vs Bots, Scraper Bots

Cybersecurity Sessions Season 2, Episode 5: Skiplagging, CAPTCHA vs Bots, Scraper Bots

Sep 14, 2023

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?

Dani 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.

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.