[Nottingham] Challenge-Response systems

Michael Erskine msemtd at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Nov 4 12:39:04 GMT 2005

On Friday 04 November 2005 10:30, Simon Huggins wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 04, 2005 at 11:19:59AM +0100, Michael Erskine wrote:
> > The point with this particular CR system is that if you genuinely WANT
> > to get your mail through then you can. Spam doesn't get through.
> Don't be silly.  If (heaven forbid) CR actually becomes widespread then
> spam does get through.

I wasn't being silly: it does work -- ask him! I certainly wasn't suggesting 
that all forms of CR are great and "fine by me".

It might be better to consider this particular challenge-response system more 
in the light of the various subscription type verification systems: y'know 
the ones where the user is asked to enter a piece of text shown in an image 
that is not so easily machine readable. The aim is to try and establish that 
the person that sent the mail is real so they can be whitelisted. There's 
probably quite a few ways to do that. Mailman uses something similar: a user 
asks to subscribe and receives a confirmation email. Sounds less sinister 
when compared to what we're actually using.

Michael Erskine.

Q: How many Marxists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None:  The light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

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