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Nice writeup, @vzhou842.

I feel like part of the problem here is just miscommunication. Victor and Ben seem to be talking past each other.

This line stood out to me:

>>There’s no way to implement Google’s reCAPTCHA in an API.

>That can’t be right - the reCAPTCHA documentation has a dedicated section on Server Side Validation!

I assume what Ben meant was that it's impossible to implement reCAPTCHA entirely in an API. The nature of reCAPTCHA requires you to have a UI element, which would be impossible in an API. Victor interpreted the claim as if Ben said that an API can't support reCAPTCHA, which would be incorrect, but may not be what Ben meant.

I feel like the lead sort of got buried in Victor's report. The headline to me is that abusers are actively automating phony signups with this vulnerability. I don't see that stated explicitly anywhere. The closest is this line in Victor's third email, after the conversation has gotten somewhat heated:

>What good is reCAPTCHA if anybody with a computer can write a script in 5 minutes to spam your email list with thousands of fake signups.

The fact that attackers are exploiting this in the wild seems to be the most salient point, but I'm not sure that Ben knew that from the correspondence shown.






> I assume what Ben meant was that it's impossible to implement reCAPTCHA entirely in an API. The nature of reCAPTCHA requires you to have a UI element, which would be impossible in an API.

That’s exactly what I meant. Thanks for picking up on this.

> The fact that attackers are exploiting this in the wild seems to be the most salient point, but I'm not sure that Ben knew that from the correspondence shown.

I know that and hence was working on a fix for the next update.

Even though some of my comments may not be in agreement with the author, but I did mentioned in my email conversation that I am looking into it. But of course that was being left out of the post, no screenshots of that comment was found in the author’s post.

If I had released the next update without addressing this issue then yes feel free to write a post with these accusations. But I wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt.




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