Re: CAPTCHas - Understanding CAPTCHA-Solving Services in an Economic Context
Reverse Turing tests, or CAPTCHAs, have become an ubiquitous defense used to protect open Web resources from being exploited at scale. An effective CAPTCHA resists existing mechanistic software solving, yet can be solved with high probability by a human being. In response, a robust solving ecosystem has emerged, reselling both automated solving technology and real-time human labor to bypass these protections. Thus, CAPTCHAs can increasingly be understood and evaluated in purely economic terms; the market price of a solution vs the monetizable value of the asset being protected. The authors examine the market-side of this question in depth, analyzing the behavior and dynamics of CAPTCHA-solving service providers, their price performance, and the underlying labor markets driving this economy.