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KeyCAPTCHA Scam – How to Make Spam Unavoidable

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment
First Free (KeyCAPTCHA Plugin Description)

First Free (KeyCAPTCHA Plugin Description)

It is like in any scam scheme: first, a victim is enticed by an irresistible offer of absolutely free of charge novel (“first”, “innovative”, “sexy”. “unique”, etc.) miracle or easy way to earn money (including interesting job offer like it was for me by KeyCAPTCHA.com). Then you are trapped by a  sneaky change in conditions of bargain (employment)… Accordingly, first, KeyCAPTCHA.com filled the internet with ads of its first absolutely free of charge (“unique”, “novel”, “innovative”, “unbreakable”) anti-spam miracle. It was not only without any advertising but even buyers of commercial fee-based KeyCAPTCHA service were initially prohibited to create CAPTCHAs with any advertising. Then, in the beginning of August, 2011, after bloggers started to write about  and webmasters with sysadmins to advise each other this miracle en masse, KeyCAPTCHA.com changed its ToS convering KeyCAPTCHA from antispam captcha into spam platform.

KeyCAPTCHA Plugin Contribution description in WordPress.org

KeyCAPTCHA Plugin Contribution description in WordPress.org

That is, a webmaster that installed it, cannot avoid spam served through installed KeyCAPTCHA plug-in from KeyCAPTCHA.com’s servers, except “agreeing” to buy “Personalized CAPTCHA” service or uninstalling KeyCAPTCHA plugin.Well, the end-user (a visitor) of a protected web resource, cannot just close your eyes and skip it like with any other spam. KeyCAPTCHA usually blocks access to webresource, like registering for forum, commenting blog article, posting, downloading a file, resetting a forgotten password, etc.

Related articles:
History:
  • August 9, 2011 -Created and published
  • Sept 15, 2011 – Changed the published date to Sept 09, 2011 in order to cjange the order of posts presentations

										

KeyCAPTCHA.com Insists That I’ve NEVER Worked in KeyCAPTCHA Team Having Published Before That I Had

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

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The higher the KeyCAPTCHA goes, the more it shows his tail

The higher the KeyCAPTCHA goes, the more it shows his tail

Initially. KeyCAPTCHA.com Team published in internet dozens of slandering and blackening me forum posts, blog comments, that while working in keycaptcha.com I was caught for extortion of money, which KeyCAPTCHA Team managed to push removal of all from internet. See how and in my previous article

.

For example,  in this discussion  in ipbskins.ru, KeyCAPTCHA Team insists that I have never ever worked in KeyCAPTCHA.com:

  • “1. Nedodurok, Вы НИКОГДА НЕ РАБОТАЛИ в нашей организации.
  • 2. В доменном имени невозможно работать
    
    "Вы НИКОГДА у нас НЕ РАБОТАЛИ. По поводу "преступников":
    мы проконсультируемся с нашими юристами о возможности приобщения так сказать"

While, here is the Google webcache of  a topic in antichat.ru before removal of the end of discussion, where KeyCAPTCHA’s CEO tells the opposite :

  • [Page 1]
  • [Page 2]   or the same from anonymizer(if the previous link failed)
    “И вообще Геннадий, …

    Этого человека я лично выгнал из команды KeyCAPTCHA,
    так как он от имени сервиса начал писать всякую фигню на форума..."
    
    "Ну вобщем я искренне надеюсь что следующие годика 3-4 Вы проведете рубя лес и шья варюжки"
  • [Page 3] – available as saved copy only, can Email on request

Note, how KeyCAPTCHA.com representative, by his completely unprovoked personal insults, had converted purely technical discussion into a flame and off-topic having requested thereafter to remove it

In the article “KeyCAPTCHA – 2″ tells that KeyCAPTCHA’s support (from Email: support@keycaptcha.com) in response to request about information in my blog explains that while working in KeyCAPTCHA.com, I was caught extorting money from my colleague (by what?) ed-handed by police.

The true story was completely opposite. KeyCAPTCHA.com CEO threatened me to concoct criminal case against me because I reminded him his promise to sign with me the working contract.

Meanwhile, I want to remind that by Russian Labor Legislation, in case of absence of written work contract, the contract is verbal and employment is established by the fact of work itself and not by signing or not agreements.

If Interested in a Free Service, then Don’t Promote it?

August 16, 2011 2 comments

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Half the work that is done in this world
is to make things appear what they are not
~Beadle, E. R.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic
~Arthur C. Clarke’s 3d Law of Prediction)

But magic can sometimes just be an illusion
~Javan

Belief in the absence of illusions is itself an illusion
~Barbara Harrison

A hallucination is a fact, not an error;
what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it
~Bertrand Russell   

 

       So, after a storm of angry publications by unhappy webmasters and uninstalls of KeyCAPTCHA plugings, on August 14, 2011, KeyCAPTCHA.com “announced” (by posting a few replies, for example here and there) that the free of charge option of its  service was restored from August 8, 2011 (probably because the last post of KeyCAPTCHA defending its removal was from August 7, 2011, see the same links upward). Novosibirsk time (GMT +6:00)  everywhere in this article.

The most funny thing was that there were no changes in ToS or any descriptions on keycaptcha.com webite whatsoever! But wait, there’s more

Why Is KeyCAPTCHA the Lose-Lose for a Webmaster/Publisher

August 15, 2011 1 comment

“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self”
Pearl Bailey

So, KeyCAPTCHA.com announced commercialization of its anti-spam service enticing webmasters by paying for letting unavoidable unwarranted to end-users  advertising pass through anti-spam CAPTCHAs.

Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil

Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil

What’s wrong with it for webmasters (owners of web resources)?

Webmaters And Advertisers Earnings Depend on End-User but Not Vice Versa or How the Formers Share End-User’s Money

The earning of webmaster depend on on website popularity, eventually on its  user-friendliness, convenience, respect of user’s rights, etc.

End-users (visitors of websites) hate CAPTCHAs, even more they hate advertising

Leaving no choice but to inevitably interact with advertising will not make most users content

Eventually,  it is end-users whose money  is shared , advertisers and webmasters are just intermediaries.

Intrusive Unavoidable Advertising is Crime

 Sharing the earnings with webmasters or established practice of unwarranted advertising doesn’t make the latter legitimate

Laws on advertising and on-line services providing of any countries stipulate that advertising cannot be intrusive – the user should explicitly agree on advertising and have options to reject, or, at least, ignore it. Publishers (in this case webmasters) are risking to be prosecuted

Is it Really So Lucrative in Practice?

Advertisers do not pay for any interaction with advertising  but only by specific users with specific profiles (interests) from specific geo-locations, etc.

KeyCAPTCHA does not have (a lot of) advertisers and here are some feedbacl of disfrunted webmasters from campaigns of advertising-capthchas with existing pool of advertisers:

What’s the Point in Outsourcing and Centralizing Your Security?

KeyCAPTCHA Blocks Humans

  • In Soveit Russia, CAPTCHAs Block Humans from its own Spam Activity

    You are outsourcing your decisions on whom to interact with your website and who is spammer.

    For example, I am not bot but I am blockedby IP-address  from any webresource access or functionality requiring KeyCAPTCHA because KeyCAPTCHA.com Team decided that I am a spammer!
    How do you know who else they do not or will not like?

  • Centralized Services are More Frequent Victims of DDOS Attacks
While working in keycaptcha.com, I had asked:
“Why do I make from  me a fool by promoting   KeyCAPTCHA http://hidemail.at while the keycatcha.com website publishes its Email support@keycaptcha.com without ?”
and the answer was that it is externl service which can be down or blocked by a DDOS attack.Note it should not be down completely, it is enough if a DDOS attackcomes from your region for a datacenter used by KeyCAPTCHA service  to geo-filter packets from your direction and KeyCAPTCHA appear down for you.
  • Centralized Service is More Attractive for Hackers than a Single SiteIt is centralized external service, if it is hacked (also quite common situation nowadays), it is not just one protected websites but thousands.
    And this is quite appealing for hackers nowadays

My Favorite Wisdom Quotes on Fraud, Scam, Lying, Cheating, Magic, Sex, Illusion, Stupidity, Insanity, Profanity, Science, Art

August 15, 2011 2 comments

“With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half”
(Bismarck, Otto Von)

“Every two in one people is schizophrenic!”
(Latest Statistics)

Arthur C. Clarke’s Laws of Prediction:

  1. Witchcraft to the ignorant, …. Simple science to the learned”
  2.  The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

“But magic can sometimes just be an illusion
~Javan

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”
~KARL MARX, Capital

“The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains”
~Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)

“”Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones But Whips And Chains Excite Me So Throw Me Down, Tie Me Up, Show Me That You Like Me”

“The evolution of sense is, in a sense, the evolution of nonsense”
~Vladimir Nabokov

“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self. All sin is easy after that”
Pearl Bailey

“I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating”
~Sophocles

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former
~Albert Einstein

“Between a fellow who is stupid and honest and one who is smart and crooked, I will take the first. I won’t get much out of him, but with that other guy I can’t keep what I’ve got”
~Lewis B Hershey

“All scams include an enticement for someone to fall for the scam. Without an enticement, no one would fall for a scam. Many times scams are so obvious. Scams always start with an enticement of free money, free vacations, wealth, and power, but they are vague or do not mention specifically how you will get the objects of your desire. This has all the markings of a scam”
(“Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel”, Call Evil Good – The Lure Of Sweetness At No Cost)

“Those who do not read are no better off than those who cannot”
(Chinese Proverb)

“Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone – and hurt them to the bone – you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time”

“Disillusion is a natural stage that follows the holding of an illusion.
~ (Shaughnessy, Susan)

“Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people.”
(Vonnegut Jr., Kurt)

A woman should be an illusion.
~ Ian Fleming

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
~Bertrand Russell

Belief in the absence of illusions is itself an illusion.
~Barbara Harrison

Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not
~Beadle, E. R.

“We haven’t failed, but successfully shown it doesn’t work”
Boris Veldhuijzen (Unconfirmed)

“Nine-tenths of the existing books are nonsense and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense”
~Benjamin Disraeli

“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning”
~ Rich Cook

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits”
~Albert Einstein

 “I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer”
~Woody Allen

“I either want less corruption or more chance to participate in it”
~ Asleigh Brilliant

KeyCAPTCHA Spam Platform – Rebutting KeyCAPTCHA.com’s Claims that Spamming is Legal

August 7, 2011 Leave a comment

In my previous article

I wrote about the dispute between the owner of  http://ipbskins.ru, caught unawares by KeyCAPTCHA.com anti-spam service started to serve spam (ads picture puzzles + ads link) and disappearance of previous non-ads free  captcha options.

To Spam. or Not to Spam, That Is Already Not a Question. At least, for KeyCAPTCHA Team

To Spam. or Not to Spam, That Is Already Not a Question. At least, for KeyCAPTCHA Team

In the followed afterwards discussion, in comments to Fisana’s blog and in ipbskins.ru forum post.  KeyCAPTCHA Team re-stated that, according to changes of rules on August 2, 2011,   webmasters have no free no-ads options any more. Now, there are 2 options to use (3d one to stop using) KeyCAPTCHA service ONLY:

  •  to buy “Personalized CAPTCHA” service (and serve whatever you want, including your own  captchas without ads)
  •   to create advertising campaign permitting 3d-party ads to earn money. Hacking to remove ads picture (puzzles) and ads links will lbe punished by ban
  • to uninstall KeyCAPTCHA plug-in and install alternative measure of anti-spam protection

So, recapitulating the “new” KeyCAPTCHA’s policies and rules:

  1. no opt-in to refuse (unsubsribe)  from ads by addressee
    In Russia, it is illegal under Part 2 of article  10 of Федеральный Закон Российской Федерации 149-ФЗ от 27 июля 2006 г. “ОБ ИНФОРМАЦИИ, ИНФОРМАЦИОННЫХ ТЕХНОЛОГИЯХ И О ЗАЩИТЕ ИНФОРМАЦИИ”
  2. the ads are being provided without prior obligatory consent by addressee
    In Russia, it is is illegal according to article 18.1 of  Федеральный закон Российской Федерации от 13 марта 2006 г. 38-ФЗ “О рекламе”
  3. no option of free of charge service without external/3d-party ads
    This seems to be available in any other CAPTCHA service, including those promoted as ads platforms
  4. impossible to identify of a  person distributing ads:
    KeyCAPTCHA Team is in Russia,
    now presents itself as US-based Mersane Ltd.,
    having presented itself untill the March, 2011 as Joint Stock ITNP (ЗАО ИТНП)
    under the jurisdiction (see item 10.6) “of the Republic of Seychelles, without regard to conflict-of-laws provisions”
    In Russia, it is illegal under Part 2 of article  10 of Федеральный Закон Российской Федерации 149-ФЗ от 27 июля 2006 г. “ОБ ИНФОРМАЦИИ, ИНФОРМАЦИОННЫХ ТЕХНОЛОГИЯХ И О ЗАЩИТЕ ИНФОРМАЦИИ”
  5. No guarantees or liabilities by KeyCAPTCHA.com , see  item 4 of KeyCAPTCHA’s ToS
    In Russia, it is illegal under article 12 , article 38 of  Федеральный закон Российской Федерации от 13 марта 2006 г. 38-ФЗ “О рекламе”

I cited the laws of Russian Federaration though there are similar statements in the laws of most countries stating that unavoidable advertising (or intrusive or inescapable or indivertible or unpreventable or  encroaching or meddlesome or invasive advertising) is illegal.
Read for example: “Unavoidable Advertising – Is It Legal in the U.S.?”
I skipped EU legislation since US one is the most relaxed.

The KeyCAPTCHa.com Team argues then that:

  • unwarranted advertising is omnipresent in TV, printed press, cinema, etc.
    Well, this is demagoguery –  I can always opt to skip watching or reading unwarranted ads and by this will not block deprive me from access other resources.
  • that spamming is legal as far as online service informs about it in its ToS  (Terms of Service)
    No comments:  commit any crime, just don’t forget write your rules for this, even afterwards, as KeyCAPTCHA.com did.

KeyCAPTCHA “Genius” Demagoguery – Antispam Spamming Platform: Why to Buy a Spambot, Buy the Spam-thru-CAPTCHAs Share

August 6, 2011 4 comments
Webmasters has no right to reject the advertising served through KeyCAPTCHA

"Вышел ёжик из тумана, Вынул..." - Webmasters has no right to reject the advertising served through KeyCAPTCHA

Why to buy a  spambot, if one can buy the right to spam through the network of  “anti-spam”  “highly interactive” captchas?

Anti-spam CAPTCHAs as advertising platform are not new.
The new KeyCAPTCHA.com’s “innovation” is that:

  • webmasters having installed anti-spam KeyCAPTCHA do not have any control of what is being served served, or spammed through such anti-antispam external KeyCAPTCHA service (including to opt for free non-ads captchas), except its uninstall
  •  initially it is promoted through non-ads KeyCAPTCHs with following change to obligatory spam without any notice

Let me cite (in my translation) the dialogue between KeyCAPTCHA Team and the webmaster/sysadmin of  http://ipbskins.ru Fisana in her blog article:

The original article proposed a discovered hack how to continue serving KeyCAPTCHA without spam (ads puzlle + link) and stated about complaints of users and decreased rate of registrations on forum due to unwarranted ads served through KeyCAPTCHA.

The followed in comments dialogue,  briefed by me  + I added links:

  • KeyCAPTCHA:
    Hacking of our KeyCAPTCHA service will be punished by ban according to KeyCAPTCHA Terms of Service and Use Agreement
  • Fisana:
    I was horrified to find out that KeyCAPTCHA plugin setting on keycaptcha.com website does not have an option of non-advertising captchas
  • KeyCAPTCHA:
    According to “Publishers” section you can create advertising campaign with your own captchas
  • Fisana:
    I do not need advertising campaigns and do not have the time to add my captchas ,  I just  want to continue being served with non-ads pictures.
  • KeyCAPTCHA (my favorite one):
    Our service is absolutely gratuitous, if you do not want ads, you can either buy out its abscence or use other alternative solutions (i.e. having uninstalled KeyCAPTCHA plug-in)
    Besides webmasters’ earning on it, it provides 100% protection from spam-bots
  • Fisana:
    This is you right.
    But, before serving ads, you should have warned your users.
    When I started to use your service, there was no advertising either in captchas being served or in your ToS!
    There was a free unconstrained service + fee-based additional unasked options
    I did not subscribe  ads can be served to my website without my permission or even warning!
  • KeyCAPTCHA:
    We warned by Emails only those webmasters whose webresource themes were interesting to our advertisers. No one of warned webmasters stopped using KeyCAPTCHA service but only thanked us
    The rules at the moment of your registration told:

“KeyCAPTCHA may at any time revise these Terms of Service by updating this posting. By using KeyCAPTCHA, you agree to be bound by any such revisions and should therefore periodically visit this page to determine the then-current Terms of Service to which you are bound”

Such, or very similar item, is present in most of on-line srvices

  •    Fisana:
    Serving the advertising requies obligatory consent by webmaster
    KeyCAPTCHA’s Initial ToS (Terms of Service)  did not mention any advertising at all. Adding ads and ads links is the change of  service [my comment: what a naivity, see (*)]
    And where is the guarantees that next changing of ToS will not bring to my website something illegal (porno, etc.)?
  • KeyCAPTCHA:
    Our KeyCAPTCHA always had logo with links to keycaptcha.com website. It was also ads… What’s the difference?
  • Fisana:
    Visitors do not like ads pictures/puzzles in captcha. Hadn’t they complained, I’d not have noticed it at all
  • KeyCAPTCHA:
    Item 1.17 of our rules is
    :
    “1.17 The User shall not evade, modify, crack or interrupt into the operating mechanisms of the Service and of the Site.
    Any breach of the Agreement’s Terms results in the suspension of User’s account and access blocking to the Service and the Site.”
    We reccommend WP-NOTCAPTCHA
    YouTube service is inserting advertising into its video stream.

The comments were truncated by me. You can read them in full using online translator

I was dismissed under invented pretexts because I expressed on many occasions my disagreement with business model based on changing the rules, agreements, ToS which is, in my opinion, is cheating and fraud.

And you, what do you think about?

Related articles:
History of changes: