Feeds

Animated CAPTCHA tech aims to fox spambots

Wiggly words will weduce web wexation

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Replacing text puzzles featuring distorted letters with videos as a roadblock against the automated creation of web accounts can reduce user frustration while offering improved security, according to a Canadian start-up.

CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) have been used for some years to prevent the automated sign-ups to webmail accounts and the like. Users typically have to identify distorted letters depicted in an image. Over the years miscreants have devised techniques to break the process in order to create ready-to-spam accounts from reputable providers that are far less likely to be automatically blocked.

The sign-up for new accounts is automated, but solving the CAPTCHA puzzles themselves is tasked to the human cogs in 21st century sweatshops, often based in India, where workers are paid as little as $4 a day to defeat security checks.

Canadian firm NuCaptcha aims to rewrite the rules of account validation checks with a new video-based CAPTCHA system. Users are asked to identify moving text on a video background. The firm also offers a voiceover audio option for the partially sighted or colour-blind.

The technology is designed to work on a range of computing devices including hardware that doesn't support Flash, such as iPads, ReadWrite Web reports.

NuCaptcha reckons the technology is easier to use than traditional text-based CAPTCHAs, which have a 25 per cent registration abandonment rate, according to one recent academic study. The firm also claims to be able to detect automated attempts to solve its puzzles, throttling the speed of videos and making puzzles trickier to solve in cases of suspected abuse, as explained below.

Animation enables NuCaptcha to increase security features such as closely packing letters together; creating text that is very difficult for software, specifically Optical Character Recognition, (OCR) to solve compared to current products in the field. In contrast, the animation makes the CAPTCHA far easier for humans to solve, because humans are attuned to perceiving motion.

In addition, the NuCaptcha Platform utilizes behavioral intelligence to deliver very easy CAPTCHAs to legitimate users and increasingly difficult CAPTCHAs to attackers.

The first product on the NuCaptcha Platform, NuCaptcha Basic, a freemium security service for websites and blogs that offer up to 25,000 CAPTCHAs per month, was launched on Wednesday.

More details of the technology can be found on the NuCaptcha website here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.