At their worst, captchas are impossible to decipher; at their best, they’re… fun? A startup called Are You a Human has developed PlayThru, an alternative to text-based authentication. Instead of requiring the user to type some blurry, nonsensical word, PlayThru has them play a mini-game, such as dragging and dropping a car into an open parking spot. The startup says this method is more secure than word captchas — since automated bots have a harder time solving these image-based puzzles — and more fun, because users generally have a better time when their ability to identify letters isn’t called into question. PlayThru has been in beta for several months and is currently available as a free download. On May 21st, the solution will officially launch on both PCs and smartphones. Click through to the source link to try out the captcha alternative for yourself.
Tag Archives: CAPTCHAs
Software can solve video puzzles intended to prevent spam bots acting like humans.
It’s been getting harder to prove you’re a human online in recent years. The squiggly letters known as CAPTCHAs that protect websites against spam software have got more distorted, as the software has got better at reading them.
CAPTCHAs. In the absence of a Voigt-Kampff apparatus, they’re what separate the humans from the only-posing-to-be-human. And now three Stanford researchers have further blurred that line with Decaptcha, a program that uses image processing, anti-segmentation and a spell-checker to defeat text-based CAPTCHAs. Elie Bursztien, Matthieu Martin and John Mitchell pitted Decaptcha against a number of sites: it passed 66% of the challenges on Visa’s Authorize.net and 70% at Blizzard Entertainment. At the high end, the program beat 93% of MegaUpload’s tests; at other end, it only bested 2% of those from Skyrock. Of the 15 sites tried, only two completely repelled Decaptcha’s onslaught — Google and reCaptcha. So what did the researchers learn from this? Randomization makes for better security; random lengths and character sizes tended to thwart Decaptcha, as did waving text. How long that will remain true is anyone’s guess, as presumably SkyNet is working on a CAPTCHA-killer of its own.