What's with those squiggly security words on some sites?

Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 04:57 pm
I assume most people have encounter the squiggly security words that look like they were designed by a person taking LSD. You have to type them in exactly or they give you a new nearly unreadable image to try again. Why do they have to look like that? Can't they appear in Helvetica or Ariel? Why the colors? Earlier I was on a site that took me three tries and I was about to ask for the sight impaired version before it finally accepted what I typed. If they have a sight impaired version why can't they just make it clear for everyone?

Patiently waiting for one of the geeks here to whip me up the answer in a jiffy.
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 5,544 • Replies: 5

Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 05:03 pm
@Green Witch,
They're called "captchas," I believe, and they're designed to foil robots.

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Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 05:07 pm
@Green Witch,
If they have a sight impaired version why can't they just make it clear for everyone?

Because it's clear to the robots then too!

They do suck. But pretty useful on the other end to keep people from fake registering for your site.

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Green Witch
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 05:12 pm
Thanks. I assumed it wasn't some techie's idea of a joke. I'm sure it's still only a matter of time before the robots take over the earth, but it buys us a little time. Now if I could just find a similar thing to keep "Dearly Beloved, you are rich" letters out of my email.
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ebrown p
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 05:27 pm
I think this way to defeat captcha's is a bit funny.

Let's say there is a website (which for this example we will call Flacebook) that I want to automatically generate accounts on (or post to or whatever else should only be done by real humans), all I need is a website (or or websites) that lots of people want to access.

I put up a well-linked website that claims to offer naked pictures of some attractive celebrity.

When you go my website I let you wait a few seconds while my robot accesses Flacebook and starts to create a new account. Flacebook wants to make sure my robot is a human, so it offers up a Captcha.

My robot then sends this exact Captcha to you (who are eagerly waiting to see naked pictures). You then enter the answer to the Captcha.

Once you give the robot the answer, it enters it (automatically) into Flacebook. If 1000 people attempt to view these pictures in an hour, my robot can automatically register 1000 new Flacebook accounts in an hour.... with no human intervention.

The fact that there are no real naked pictures involved may annoy you.... but that doesn't really matter, does it (and the robot doesn't care once it has tricked you in to doing what it needs you for).
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 06:18 pm
@ebrown p,
You are so smart ebrown....

Now were the #%$# are those naked pictures?
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