CypherCon 2024

Digital Disobedience: Devastating Data Dealers with Devious Unicode

Ben Roytenberg

Abstract:

What originally started as a means to filter out headhunters from automated recruiters on LinkedIn has spiraled into a maddeningly comprehensive study on what privacy concerns netizens face in the pursuit of maintaining digital presence. Decades after the tech industry decided to turn the customer into the product, multiple industries have sprouted up around the mass collection and sale of user data. Oddly enough, the ultimate mitigation against combo lists, web scrapers, and lazy recruiters alike is…obscure unicode. This talk discusses several techniques to serve as a canary scheme to detect automated actors, break search engine indexing, and even disrupt record merging attempts by data brokers.

Ben Roytenberg

Don’t scrape this page!

Ben Roytenberg is always thinking about stuff, but spends his time during business hours conducting security research at Oracle. His past career experience covers binary exploitation, LLVM development, and CTF problem development. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology and performs independent research with a focus on web automation and mass data collection.