Why Google's reCAPTCHA System is Flawed According to Research
In a press conference held, Google said that Wilkins’ claims were based on an obsolete version of reCAPTCHA (2008 version) and major revisions and upgrades were made to the system since then.
“There is a 17.5% success rate against the system that has been proven”, according to the research published about the security system authored by Jonathan Wilkins. The said figure means that the system is highly susceptible.
CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Publick Turing) is a test to discern between computers and humans. The idea of it is to have users enter a code that is unrecognizable for machines. “. In essence, it has been found that the warped image intended for optical recognition apparently cannot cover 100% of blocking unwanted bots getting into their system. These bots are used to create accounts in an alarming count of 864,000 accounts per day to be used for spamming.”
In a press conference held, Google said that Wilkins’ claims were based on an obsolete version of reCAPTCHA (2008 version) and major revisions and upgrades were made to the system since then. Wilkins admitted that he used the older version as a basis but also tested the newer versions of it. In his tests with the newer versions, the success rates further increased.
Horizontal lines intended primarily to avert machines from distinguishing the words in the images were used in the older version of CAPTCHA. A lot of users who encounter this older version of CAPTCHAs have difficulty reading them. Dropping those lines and using OCR images are what the newer versions feature. Much easier for humans to read, but easily readable by machines as well.
The two-word images of Google’s CAPTCHA system is intended for the purpose of protecting themselves from spammers and to assist in the data collating for their OCR software. The unreadable images from the books used by Google are being digitized yet have knotty words being read and inputted by users. The unrecognizable words are being into their dictionary as well.
reCAPTCHA system is faced with another major issue wherein a single inaccurate letter will still be considered by the system as valid. Users are eventually opting to use alternative CAPTCHA system like Microsoft’s Asirra (that used dogs and cats as images) because of the bad credibility of Google’s reCAPTCHA. In Asirra system, users are asked to sort 12 images into feline and canine groups and this technique is called Human Interactive Proof (HIP). However, this system of Microsoft needs huge databases for backing up due to the high capacity of the computational power needed to prevent attacks from spammers.
Currently, there are a number of anti-CAPTCHA companies that have been creating softwares and services designed to bypass CAPTCHAs. However, users must be vigilant in deciphering which one should be trusted like the Death by Captcha company which is a world leader in CAPTCHA solving service. This company is strict about their policies and their services are primarily intended for research projects and any illegal use of it is strictly prohibited.
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